Lib Dems' policy U-turn over euro entry
The Lib Dems have made a significant break with their commitment to the European single currency, it emerged last night.
Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, and the home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said it was no longer a priority to campaign for British entry into the euro. The shift in policy is surprising, as Mr Clegg and Mr Huhne, both former MEPs, have been passionate supporters of the single currency.
While the issue has been off the Government's agenda for five years, it has been at the forefront of Lib Dem policy for the past decade.
Mr Clegg told The Independent on Sunday that the debate on the euro was now "neutered". He insisted his party remained committed to Europe, but that tax and other domestic issues were now top of the agenda.
And in an interview with the IoS, Mr Huhne said: "The truth is, within the British debate, it's completely off the radar and there is simply no point in regarding it as a runner worth investing political time in."
In the past, Mr Clegg and Mr Huhne have been "near messianic" about the single currency, say friends. But addressing his party conference in Bournemouth last night, Mr Clegg attacked the "broken politics" of Westminster, which he said was a home to "a political class sheltered from reality and shielded from an increasingly alienated society".
Mr Huhne also told the IoS that Mr Clegg would not become a household name until after the next election, saying the leader needed to "go through an election to become a real figure in the front rooms of the country".
The remark will cast a shadow over Mr Clegg's attempts to survive his first autumn conference without questions over his leadership. It underlines concerns by some in the party at his failure to make an impact. Last week, Mr Clegg admitted that voters were "still getting to know me".
Mr Huhne refused to rule out standing for the leadership for a third time. Asked if he has given up hope of becoming leader, he said only: "There is absolutely no vacancy."
Mr Huhne also set out conditions for the Lib Dems working with a minority Tory or Labour government in a hung parliament.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explainer: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...