Nick Clegg's woes deepened as the first resignation in the aftermath of a conference steeped in apologies, reports Kevin Meagher.
As the Liberal Democrat conference draws to a close, a Sheffield Lib Dem councillor has quit the party saying Nick Clegg’s integrity is “shot to pieces” following his apology for breaking his pre-election pledge not to put up university tuition fees.
Jack Clarkson, a member of Stocksbridge town council in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield backyard, will now sit as an independent after telling his local paper the Lib Dem leader’s televised apology was “embarrassing and shameful”.
Councillor Clarkson explained:
“In many respects Nick Clegg’s ‘I’m sorry’ broadcast left me feeling somewhat angry and what followed in relation to the You Tube song I found quite embarrassing and shameful.
“Like many people, including Lib Dem supporters, I have always had an issue with broken pledges and have voiced concern repeatedly at meetings. It is an issue that I simply cannot ignore or support any longer.
“Nick Clegg has made a pledge and a promise that he broke and let hundreds of thousands of young people down in respect of student tuition fees. Saying sorry now and trying to treat the issue as a light-hearted joke just months after major life-threatening riots, for me, just simply sucks.
“I, like many people, was brought up in the belief that ‘a promise is a promise’ – especially when made to young people. This is a value that we instil in our children from a very early age and one that I still believe.”
“Nick Clegg failed to keep his pledge and for me his integrity is shot to pieces. What he says now is highly questionable indeed.”
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Autotune-tastic: Watch the Nick Clegg Apology Song – 20 Sept 2012