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Senior Lib Dems behaving badly

Matthew Barrett

Screen shot 2011-04-26 at 08.46.17 Last week, I detailed Vince Cable's gaffes since the formation of the coalition. Since then, Lord Ashdown, Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne have made various attacks on coalition policy and members, so here is an updated list of the last fortnight, including remarks by Dr Cable:

  • Hughes said "Baroness Warsi, who has been inventing facts"
  • Clegg attacked the No campaign as the "death rattle of a right-wing elite, a right-wing clique"
  • Vince Cable telling the BBC that the Lib Dems had "restrained" the Tories from making "offensive" policy decisions for Scotland
  • Lord Ashdown writing in the Observer "These cynical smears and scaremongering show not only the bankruptcy of the no campaign's arguments but also how low is the level of its regard for the intelligence the public."
  • "That's why I'm glad the Tories aren't in power by themselves at Westminster. We have stopped the Tories behaving like they did under Thatcher" - remarks dropped from a speech made by Dr Cable in Edinburgh
  • Huhne accusing George Osborne and William Hague of "making claims which have no foundation in truth whatsoever."
  • Nick Clegg making a speech saying "The no campaign ... have an interest in keeping things just the way they are. The old politics likes its nice little racket, its nice little earner. They don't want you to have any more say than is absolutely necessary to keep them nice and cosy in their safe seats. They want people locked out and politicians kept in. Well democracy is not theirs to control, it's yours."
  • Dr Cable admitting he thought about leaving office over his BSkyB gaffe
  • Chris Huhne (unsuccessfully) threatening legal action against Conservative politicians and refusing to rule out resigning
  • “If I find myself outside the Government, I can assure you there are all kinds of things I can do with my life. I can have much fun going around the country speaking, writing books and probably doubling my income in the process" - Dr Cable implying he might prefer to be sacked from Cabinet rather than stay in it.
  • Clegg saying the Prime Minister is on the side of "reactionary interests" - the BNP
  • Lord Ashdown telling the Prime Minister to "disassociate himself from a deeply personalised campaign which, frankly, no British Prime ­Minister should ever be ­associated with"
  • Dr Cable calling David Cameron's immigration speech "very unwise"
  • Huhne saying "I’ve been involved in every single British election campaign since the early 1980s – and I can never remember a campaign which has stooped as low as the no campaign, in dredging up stuff which is downright lies."
  • Dr Cable saying "It's time for the progressive majority in the country to rise above this narrow tribalism and support this reform because we need to make sure the progressive majority wins elections in this century and not the Conservatives as they did, by the back door, for two-thirds of the last century."
  • Huhne accusing the Conservatives of condoning "gutter politics".