Nick Clegg: Former Lib Dem leader 'offered to stand down before election,' claims report

Mr Clegg was 'distraught about everything' following disastrous European Parliament and local council elections for his party

Nick Clegg offered to stand down as Liberal Democrat leader after last year’s disastrous European Parliament and local council elections, according to a report.

He only decided to stay after canvassing opinion among a number of leading party members, including some of his opponents on the left of the party.

A senior Lib Dem said Mr Clegg told him at the time: “If I believe – and I think I’m very close to it – that I am the problem and not the solution, then I have to stand to one side.”

However, the insider replied: “You don’t have that luxury – this is your burden now, you have to carry it through to the election. Whether you believe that or not, it’s tough titty.”

The party’s president, Tim Farron, left a friend’s wedding to speak to Mr Clegg in a car park, The Guardian reported. “Nick was just distraught about everything,” said Mr Farron. “I just thought, ‘This could end up in a bloodbath’, and we’re far better off sticking with the captain who has done nothing to deserve this.

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