With the majority of Liberal Democrat politicians braced for impact on May 5th it appears some can still afford to be sanguine. Rumours abound that two of the Liberal Democrats’ most prominent losers of the last year are to be given peerages by Nick Clegg.
With his minority administration on Sheffield City Council teetering on the brink, Paul Scriven refused to sign the letter from more than 90 Lib Dem leaders criticising the scale of the cuts — despite believing that the pace of reductions is too fast. Nick Clegg’s “closet ally in local government” may soon be wiping away his tears with luxurious stoat fur.
Despite telling the Commons that he hadn’t “lent it any thought so far”, Nick Clegg is also expected to nominate double-loser Elwyn Watkins for a seat in the Lords. Watkins failed to beat Debbie Abrahams in Oldham East and Saddleworth having had last May’s contest against Phil Woolas overturned by the courts.
The former Rochdale councillor risked huge legal bills if he failed to win his case against Woolas. Just as well he has worked as a “personal assistant” and “business adviser” to multi-billionaire Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Ali Alhamrani since 1998.
Lord Watkins of Riyadh?