Greg Clark said ministers' choice of the term 'third sector' was evidence that it sees the sector as a junior partner.
"This Government just loves partnership," Clark told the Conservative Women's Organisation last week. "Sadly, the role it has for the voluntary sector is that of a junior partner - hence its preferred term: third sector."
He also denounced the claim made by social exclusion minister Hilary Armstrong at the NCVO earlier this month that Tory policy echoes the Government line. "We have led, they have followed," he said.
Clark added that the Conservatives' approach to public services would be one of "shared responsibility".