EU elections 2014: Lib Dem members launch online petition for ‘toxic’ Nick Clegg to resign
An attempt to oust Nick Clegg as Liberal Democrat leader was made tonight by activists appalled by the party’s performance in the local elections.
The Independent has learnt that a group of grassroots members launched an online petition, #libdems4change, urging Lib Dems to demand a leadership contest so the party can install a new leader this summer.
In an open letter to Mr Clegg, they say: “This week the electorate has delivered another stark message about the party’s performance and direction. We have lost hundreds of brilliant councillors across the country and in some areas we have lost every seat we were defending.”
They tell the Deputy Prime Minister: “We consider it vital that at the 2015 general election the party should be led by someone who will receive a fair hearing about our achievements and ambitions for the future. It is clear to us that this person is not you, as the loss of so many of our hardworking councillors highlights.
“You have fulfilled a range of objectives in government, but we now believe that progress will be best achieved under a new leader. We therefore ask that you stand down, allowing the membership to select your successor this summer.”
Organisers said the move had already been backed by a broad cross-section of party members. Early signatories included Sandra Gidley, the former MP for Romsey.
Seth Thevoz, another backer, said: “Even the best Liberal Democrat candidates, councillors and councils have come up against a brick wall. It is simply impossible for the party to make any headway so long as it is led by Nick Clegg. There is a serious trust deficit – rightly or wrongly, nothing Clegg says can be taken seriously by the electorate. To the British public, Clegg is toxic.”
Mr Clegg insisted he would not resign, blaming the council results on an “anti-politics” mood. His party lost more than 260 council seats and was ousted from power in Kingston-upon-Thames and Portsmouth. It ended with its smallest presence in local government since the 1980s.
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...