James Forsyth

Can Clegg recover?

Can Clegg recover?
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Nick Clegg has had a disastrous week. His comments about the number of women he had slept with have made him into a laughing-stock while his party’s position on the Lisbon treaty becomes more incoherent by the day. 

Clegg’s interview with The Times  this morning shows how difficult it is going to be for him to get past the Clegg-over business. Helen Rumbelow and Alice Miles press him repeatedly on the issue and you have to imagine that every other interviewer is going to do the same for the foreseeable future. Clegg does, though, say one interesting non Clegg-over related thing. When asked about coalitions he replied,

“I don’t think about either of them in those terms – if you’re asking me to make a choice between Gordon Brown’s fatal flaw, his innate view that you can administer a better society from an office in Whitehall, and a mix of centralisation and technocratic arrogance, and David Cameron’s skin-deep commitment to social justice and almost total indifference to Britain’s place in the world, it’s a totally invidious choice to make.”

Maybe, I’m reading too much into this answer but it does seem that the condemnation of Gordon Brown is far more serious than the almost perfunctory, criticism of David Cameron. All of which suggests that the Tories wooing of the Lib Dems is beginning to pay dividends.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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