The Liberal Democrats paid almost £9,000 to hire audience members for Nick Clegg’s town hall meetings, documents published by the Electoral Commission reveal. In contrast with the supposedly organic groundswell of support for the party leader, events consultancy Full House Audience Management were paid £7,600 to find audiences for four meetings between April 10 and May 4 in Gateshead, Glasgow, Redcar, and London.

Embarassingly, Lib Dem spinners were not only paying to fill venues but a £2,000 invoice for one event was halved due to “poor response” from members of the public.

The revelations echo an incident from March in which the Conservatives were exposed for “bussing in” Tory supporters to pose as students for a speech by David Cameron proclaiming his party’s “openness and trust”. Alarm bells were raised when those sitting behind the lectern  at multicultural East London University were conspicuously white.

Nick Clegg is looking more phoney with every passing minute.

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