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18 May 2011

Crisis? What crisis?

The Liberal Democrats have been in far worse situations than this and recovered, argues Olly Grender

By Duncan Robinson

In this week’s New Statesman, the Lib Dem insider and NS blogger Olly Grender discusses her party’s travails, including the recent troubles of David Laws and Chris Huhne, and argues that it’s not all bad for the Liberal Democrats.

Laws’s friends argue that they know who is behind the damaging revelations, according to Grender: “[They] are in no doubt that the leaks were generated from two sources: Tory MPs who still hold a grudge over David Cameron’s treatment of them when the expenses scandal broke two years ago, and mischief-making Labour insiders who recognise the importance of Laws to both Clegg and Cameron.”

The allegations aimed at Huhne will not affect him, Grender says, and she explains: “Anyone who knows the Energy Secretary will be aware that he is not called ‘Rhino-Hide Huhnester’ for nothing: he will be coping with this media storm better than most.”

The Liberal Democrats are a hardy bunch, though, she says. One Lib Dem peer told her: “If you think this is hard, try being in the party when the leader was on trial for attempted murder.”

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