Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lembit Opik plotting to oust Nick Clegg, says the Mirror

From the Daily Mirror website this afternoon:
Former I’m a Celebrity star Lembit Opik is behind a plot to topple his Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. 
The ex-MP delivered a motion to party bosses to make it easier to trigger a leadership fight. 
The move must now be voted on at the spring party conference in Brighton in March – one week after the Eastleigh by-election.
The report goes on to explain that under the current system it takes 75 local parties have to call a leadership contest, the Opik amendment, if passed, would mean it would take only 10 delegates.

The Mirror goes on to say:
Mr Clegg is said to be furious Mr Opik’s move poses such a serious threat to his position.
But that is obviously nonsense.

Whatever your view on how easy it should be to trigger a leadership election, I doubt that Nick is furious. Lembit, through his antics, contrived to lose what is historically our safest seats at the last election. So any move made in his name will have far less chance of succeeding than it otherwise would - see the results of the  contest to find the last Lib Dem London mayoral candidate if you doubt this.

I therefore suspect that Nick is rather relaxed about the Opik amendment - which, incidentally, sounds like the title of a thriller from the 1970s.

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