James Forsyth

Lib Dem conference goes from bad to worse for Clegg

Lib Dem conference goes from bad to worse for Clegg
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After an awful conference so far, the last thing the Lib Dems needed was for another internal row to threaten to overshadow the leader’s speech. But that is what has happened. 18 of the 29 member Federal Policy Committee, which produces the Lib Dem manifesto, have written to The Guardian saying that they will include in it a commitment to scrap tuition fees regardless of what the leadership wants.

This is not the only open defiance of Nick Clegg’s authority. Steve Webb, the party’s work and pensions spokesman, has moved on from slapping down Clegg over the possibility of means-testing child benefit to, as The Guardian reports it, 'saying the party needed to avoid a strategy that "alienated every group in society by floating a raft of policies, many of which would not end up as party policy".'