Clegg “sold out” for power

Lib Dem voters accuse Clegg of abandoning principles.

A new poll in the Independent on Sunday today carries some dispiriting news for Nick Clegg as he greets his party at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool. Over half of the Lib Dem voters polled in the ComRes survey believe that Clegg abandoned his principles by entering a coalition with David Cameron.

In addition, four out of ten people who voted Lib Dem at the election would have cast their vote elsewhere if they had known that Clegg was going make a deal with the Conservatives and form a coalition government.

The poll also reveals support for the Lib Dems has fallen 3 points to 15 per cent in less than two weeks.

However, in his appearance on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Clegg was bullish, saying that the Lib Dems should not worry about their position in the polls because "it's a marathon, not a sprint". He also announced a crackdown on tax avoidance, calling the practice "morally questionable".

In an apparent bid to offset some of the harsh Conservative rhetoric about punishing benefit fraud, Clegg said: "I want us to be as hard on people who are tax cheats as people who are benefit cheats."

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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David Cameron calls Sadiq Khan a “proud Muslim” – after trying to link him to Islamic extremism

The PM has his best flipflops on.

After months of backing the nasty racial politics of the Tory mayoral campaign, the Prime Minister has taken the bold move of sharing a platform with infamous moderate Sadiq Khan on the EU Remain campaign trail. Quite a spectacular about-turn.

Compare and contrast, readers.

David Cameron, 20 April 2016

“If we are going to condemn not just violent extremism, but also the extremism that seeks to justify violence in any way, it is very important that we do not back these people, and we do not appear on platforms with them. And I have to say, I am concerned about Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, who has appeared again and again and again . . . The Honourable Member for Tooting has appeared on a platform with him [imam Suliman Gani] nine times. This man supports IS.”

David Cameron, 30 May 2016

“Let me first of all congratulate Sadiq on his victory. He talked about his father. He’s the son of a bus driver. I’m the son of a stockbroker, which is not quite so romantic. But he makes an important point about our country. In one generation someone who’s a proud Muslim, a proud Brit and a proud Londoner can become mayor of the greatest city on Earth. That says something about our country. There are still glass ceilings we have got to smash. There’s still discrimination we have got to fight.”

What a difference a month makes, eh?

I'm a mole, innit.