• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Ashdown condemns 'plot of deep malice' against Clegg

FORMER Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has said there had been a "plot of deep malice" to remove Nick Clegg.

Lord Oakeshott - a close friend of Business Secretary Vince Cable - resigned from the party last week after admitting he had commissioned research on how it would fare under a different leader. In a parting shot, he warned that the Lib Dems were heading for "disaster" with the Deputy Prime Minister in charge.

"What has happened after these elections has made a bad situation worse," Lord Ashdown said.

"We now know there has been a plot of deep malice to try and remove the leader.

"I have got a very clear message for the party, and that is anything you do now which is not getting out on the streets campaigning in the context of the next general election - which is where we can put our proposition of how we have behaved in government behind a fine leader and I think a fine record - is a distraction and a dangerous distraction."

Asked if he thought Mr Cable was involved in the plot, Lord Ashdown replied: "He says not, Nick says he wasn't."

However, he referred to Shakespeare's Othello - who was betrayed by his confidante Iago.

"One of the rules of politics is choose your Iagos carefully," he said.

According to a poll at the weekend, Mr Clegg has become the least popular party leader in modern British political history.

YouGov research found just 13% thought the Deputy Prime Minister was doing a good job - compared to 78% who said the opposite.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

237532