We all know you can choose your friends, but not your neighbours.

It means that suddenly the Lib Dem and Conservative coalition has a whole new meaning as Tory MP David Ruffley has inadvertently moved next door to his former Lib Dem parliamentary rival David Chappell in a village near Bury St Edmunds. It could prove a little bit awkward, especially if they both contest the next general election.

The East Anglian Daily Times today humorously reports that in keeping with their political beliefs, Mr Chappell’s house is on the left and Mr Ruffley’s is on the right.

Not surprisingly, both men are stunned!

Mr Chappell secured 15,519 votes and came second to Mr Ruffley’s 27,899 votes in the general election. He went around to welcome his neighbour once he realised it was him:

“He got a bit of a surprise. I have welcomed him to the village. I am on the left and he is on the right, which is appropriate. I don’t have any problems with him at all, even if we do disagree on policy issues.”

I’m not sure if Mr Ruffley plans to share a Chablis and discuss coalition policy with his neighbour. He was quoted as saying: “I think politics is a bit more serious than that. I’ll comment on things that are important, but that isn’t. I’m not in politics to do things like that.”

I hate to say it, but I think Mr Chappell won the first round for displaying neighbourly diplomacy, politics aside!