Conceding defeat to Tory backbenchers on Lords reform this afternoon, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg immediately announced his intention to exact revenge — by spiking boundary changes which would benefit the Conservatives in 2015.

So why did he tell mislead the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, by telling them that the two were not linked? Tory Eleanor Laing

“It is now being reported that the Liberal Democrat party … will not continue to support the boundaries legislation unless House of Lords reform is passed in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Is that the case?”

Clegg responded:

“There is no formal link between the two.”

Pressed again by Laing to clarify, Clegg denied another two times:

“Of course, there is no reliance on our support for a Coalition Agreement commitment for progress on unrelated or other significant parallel constitutional formations. I have said that. There is no link; of course, there is no link.”

Someone should get a fire extinguisher for his pants.

  1. Well, the fact that there was a Tory rebellion with absolutely no consequences for the rebels didn’t help. If Clegg had forced through the boundary review, he would have been removed as leader at the next opportunity. Cameron didn’t leave him a lot of choice.

  2. Tories were whipped for HoL reform and it was only withdrawin because it was obviousl that it wouldn’t go through despte the 3 line whip. Those in govnt who wanted to oppose it were obliged to resign.

    So now Clegg announces that he is going to reneg on an other (unrelated) part of the Agreement and instruct his MPs to vote against it. So he’s actually going to WHIP AGAINST the coaltion agreement. Completely different to what Cameron did on HoL reform.

    The man is a dishonest toerag

  3. The language of parliamentary politicking. When he opposes boundary changes he can say it isn’t linked to anything the Tories did, it’s a point of principle, blah, blah, try to brazen it out.

    Hark, I hear another fateful nail knocking into the LibDems electoral coffin.

  4. @EamonnMy10cents says:

    There is always the “nuclear option” for Clegg, i.e. end the coalition causing a General Election but as Nick is (as our Franglais cousins might say) “sans backbone and les bolliques” that’s not about to happen. In other words, the Lib-Dems can only stamp their feet and cry to matron. Boundary changes?…if I remember correctly Clegg is in a very student-heavy constituency…I would be very pro-boundary changes if I were him…I think he’s going to need all the parliamentary chicanery available to face down an aggrieved student stalking horse when the next GE is called (if there is any justice).

  5. Isn’t spin the basis of politics? When he agreed to boundary changes he will not have realized the negative impact these would have on number of the Lib Dem MPs which apparently is highly tuned to a given electorate. Now he does he would never agree to these changes any more than Labour would.
    Since there is barely any real difference between the three parties economic policies its not going to matter which set get power. All are pro public spending at the expense of increasing taxation and a declining private sector. See
    What’s to vote for?

  6. Therealguyfaux says:

    Matt 26:34 “Before the cock crow, thou wilt have denied me thrice.”
    Just thought I’d go all Biblical, seeing as how that is the proportion of Cleggers’ (*ahem*) less than truthfulness, shall we say…

  7. To be fair to Nick, and certainly I am not often, there is a logic in his argument. While the bills are unrelated going through parliament, the price for Commons reform always had to be a major Lords reform. Better to abandon both bills than reduce the Commons size, yet carry on creating more and more lords until death do they part.

  8. No – the price for fewer fairer boundaries was the referendum on AV. That is why they were in the same act of parliament. And the only remaining vote on boundary changes is the formal Order in Council to adopt the politically impartial boundary review that was triggered.

  9. Neither party in the coalition is interested in serious reform of the HoL.

    The tories aren’t interested in anything but their own advantage and the Liberals have compromise tattoed on their hearts and simply don’t know what they want any longer.

    Why on earth did they agree to the spatchcock ‘reform’ of the boundaries when a fundamental change is involved – counting number of voters, not number of adult citizens? What is the ‘principle’ behind that? It is obvious that the tories would benefit and that is why they want it, but the Liberals have no excuse. Our representation was a subject of partisan horse trading.

    Let’s have proper reform, please! That means involving us, not doing deals with each other!

  10. On HoL reform – all three parties voted for a 100% elected house in the last parliament. Now two of them have forgotten all about it.

    Clegg’s proposals were a betrayal of his own party’s vote in the last parliament and seem to have come from out of his head, not from any sort of democratic consultation or reference to the actual policies expressed by parliament.

  11. Mr Clegg’s undies are burnt to a cinder. The man seems pathologically incapable of keeping a promise, and I’m a mug for voting for him.

  12. All parties are guilty of expediency and self -interest. The Lib Dems and Labour don’t want Boundary changes because that will work against them and favour The Conservatives.
    Boundary changes should be placed into the hands of an Independent Body and MPs should have no control when and how they take place. Electoral advantage or disadvantage should not be a criteria for when and how Boundary changes happen. It’s all about fairness which none of the parties are really interested in.

  13. Another attempt at reforming the establishment is lost, thanks to the combined efforts of Labour and Tory politicians. Can anyone tell the the difference between them anymore?

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