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 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Israel-Gaza conflict: The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The missiles were tragically real
Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
Syria conflict: Syrian and Turkish Kurds unite to battle Isis threat - ‘We shoot them like sheep, but next day double the number return’
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified ...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently for ...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienc...
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...