Paddy Ashdown: This is moment we need to campaign through Summer and get good message out for the General Election

paddy ashdown - paul walterPaddy Ashdown, not surprisingly, came out strongly in Nick Clegg’s defence on the Sunday Politics this morning.

He said that we had a good message to proudly proclaim in the run up to the General Election.

Ditching Nick now would irreparably damage the party, he said, as it would show that we can’t hack being in Government.

He reminded us of his drubbing 25 years ago at the first European elections the party fought where we ended up as an asterisk.

He has upset some of the people who are unhappy at the moment by appearing to trivialise their concerns by suggesting that more people had signed up to Lib Dem Friends of Cake than had signed the letter. However, he later clarified on Twitter that he thought they were wrong but respected them:

You can watch the whole interview here.

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  • Jonathan Calder is right.

    Paddy would have been more credible if he had just once got the name right. If you saw him on Andrew Neil’s programme he fluffed his lines. He got the name wrong again on Sky News and called it something else again on Ch4 News. It makes him look a twerp.
    Has it come to this that a great leader like Paddy Ashdown has to demean himself with this sort of cheap stunt to rubbish those calling for change ? ( presumably following the script of some juvenile PR advisor)

    Are they so desperate in the bunker that they have to ruin Paddy’s credibility as well?

  • Paul In Twickenham 25th May '14 - 9:24pm

    The FDP are on 3.3% in the ARD exit poll. That means they go from 10 MEPs to 3 MEPs. I continue (oh I’m such a hopeless romantic) to think that the LibDems end up with 3 MEPs, just as I have for the last 18 months.

    Of course the FDP got zero seats in the Bundestag last year after coalition with a Conservative-led government.

    Is any of this sounding familiar at all?

  • Paul in Twickenham, Can you remind me of the terms of that longstanding bet you have on the result?

  • Paul In Twickenham 25th May '14 - 9:37pm

    @JohnTillrey – I promised £20 to the Refugee Council for every LD MEP in excess of 3 – not sounding too risky right now, is it? BUT I’ve also placed 2 bets on the range being >1 and <5. If the total number of LD MEPS is in between 2 and 4 then I will give all my winnings (£70) to the Refugee Council. My partner Arnie Gibbons will post a confirmation that I have made the donation.

  • Tories ditched abysmal Thatcher and won the following election despite having chosen a weak leader.

  • Paul in Twickenham
    Full of admiration for your consistent and accurate prediction. At least some good will come out of yesterday’s dreadful result. The Refugee Council will need all the help it can get in the Europe of Farage.

    Yesterday was a self-inflicted disaster by Clegg which you predicted months ago.

  • Shaun Nichols 26th May '14 - 11:55am

    What are HQ going to do about the growing rebellion against the leadership from within the party? A leadership that only delivers disaster at the ballot box (it seems some of us aren’t working hard enough).

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