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.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...