Lewes MP Norman Baker has insisted he could not throw his “toys out of the pram" over his opposition to plans to sell-off publicly owned forests.

The Transport Minister is telling angry constituents that he must look at the bigger picture now the Liberal Democrats are in government with the Conservatives.

During his time in opposition Mr Baker was a fervent opponent of the American Express Community Stadium, arguing its location on the edge of the South Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meant it should not go ahead.

But Mr Baker told The Argus that drawing comparisons between that case and the coalition plans to privatise woodland run by the Forestry Commission was "too simplistic".

He has written a letter to send to constituents furious about the plans, which have sparked more than 300,000 people into signing a petition of opposition, explaining why he will not vote against the plans.

In December Mr Baker threatened to resign over the Coalition's plans to raise tuition fees.

When asked about whether he felt he was “compromising” for a second time on his beliefs, he said: “Both sides are compromising."