Peter Hoskin

The Lib Dems keep ‘em guessing

The Lib Dems keep 'em guessing
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Last week, Nick Clegg was singing the blues.  But, this week, it's clear that he's doing as much as possible to distinguish his party from the others.  Indeed, his performance in PMQs yesterday was a case in point: he went out of his way to attack both Brown and Cameron, and positioned his side as the non-Unite, non-Ashcroft choice.  Given the Lib Dem's recent history with dodgy donors, that's a move which - at the very least - is going to ruffle a few red and blue feathers.

So it's striking, today, that the Lib Dems are probably going even heavier on the Ashcroft story than Labour.  While Peter Mandelson is concentrating on why David Cameron "couldn't find the backbone or the bottle to ask [Lord Ashcroft] the relevant questions", Chris Huhne has effectively said that William Hague lied on his Today programme interview this morning.  Huhne adds that Hague is now "completely unfit to be Foreign Secretary," and that the Tories have been involved in a "cynical cover-up".  That's fighting talk, if ever I heard it.

Of course, it's likely that none of this says anything about the Lib Dems' intentions in the event of a hung parliament.  They are, after all, obliged to attack their opponents - so they're going about it with gusto.  But it could result in some pretty awkward discussions in a few weeks time.