Bradford MP David Ward rubbishes idea to drop Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

David Ward

David Ward

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

David Ward has dismissed the idea that dumping Nick Clegg will make the Liberal Democrats more popular – insisting he has been “very successful”.

The Bradford East MP threw his weight behind the beleaguered Deputy Prime Minister, ahead of a crunch meeting with Lib Dem MPs at Westminster tonight.

Mr Ward argued it was “ridiculous” to suggest Mr Clegg should make way for a new, less controversial face at the top, insisting he knew of no fellow MPs pushing for the switch.

And he said the true measure of success was not how many Lib Dem MPs are re-elected, but how many of his party’s policies had been introduced.

Mr Ward said: “What has Nick done wrong? He and I have had a few run-ins, but he has the most difficult job in politics for generations. Whoever was leader would have got a hammering.”

The MP spoke out a week after senior Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott warned his party was “heading for disaster” under Mr Clegg.

The Lib Dem leader will hold talks with his MPs after losing all but one of his Euro-MPs and finishing fifth in those elections on a dismal 6.6 per cent of the vote.

Some polls have suggested the Lib Dems can only survive as a political force under the leadership of either Business Secretary Vince Cable or Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander.

But Mr Ward said: “Those polls might be true for a week, but then people would turn on either Danny or Vince. It is ridiculous to be considering the leadership before the election. It’s a nonsense – a distraction from getting on with things.”

Mr Ward pointed to the lifting of the income tax threshold, the ‘pupil premium’, pensions changes, better childcare and the introduction of free school meals for under-eights.

And he said: “What is success? Is it to have extra MPs, or to have achieved something in Government?

“Huge chunks of our manifesto are now part of the nation. Pound for pound, we have delivered more than the Tories have. In that respect, we have been very successful.”

Asked if Lib Dem MPs in marginal seats such as Bradford East were “worried”, Mr Ward replied: “We have got a good story and I’m confident we can tell it. When I communicate with my constituents, they know what we have done in office.”

And, asked if Mr Clegg will be leader at next year’s general election, he said: “I would be amazed if he wasn’t – I’ve not picked up anything from anyone to suggest otherwise.”

Comments (6)

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8:27pm Tue 3 Jun 14

allinittogether says...

Mr Ward said: “What has Nick done wrong?
Let down thousands of students and instantly showed every first time voter that politicians cannot be trusted to keep their word. He's lying untrustworthy specimen.
Mr Ward said: “What has Nick done wrong? Let down thousands of students and instantly showed every first time voter that politicians cannot be trusted to keep their word. He's lying untrustworthy specimen. allinittogether
  • Score: 3

9:07pm Tue 3 Jun 14

micela22 says...

Emperors new clothes springs to mind: get rid!!
Emperors new clothes springs to mind: get rid!! micela22
  • Score: 1

9:40pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Grumpygirl says...

Nick used to be a nice guy, with sensible policies. Not any more. As my granny used to say, if you sup with the devil use a long spoon. Nick is living proof that the Tories corrupt everything they touch.
Nick used to be a nice guy, with sensible policies. Not any more. As my granny used to say, if you sup with the devil use a long spoon. Nick is living proof that the Tories corrupt everything they touch. Grumpygirl
  • Score: -3

3:16am Wed 4 Jun 14

dellorri says...

It strikes me, the Lib-Dems are like a wife in a violent marriage, who thinks she can change her husband, after he strikes the first blow, walk away, it doesn't matter how many times he says sorry it won't happen again. It will. You can't change or control the Tories, they have one position and one ideology. A return to feudalism, with them as the lords and ladies of the manor, and everyone else as their serfs, with a sprinkling of freemen in the middle, to keep us in our place, awaiting the crumbs from the top table.
IDS complains about the 12.5 million lost to fraud and ERROR by the DWP, yet doesn't mention the £16 million that lays UNCLAIMED in various benefits. HMRC doesn't go after the £125 BILLION in tax that is unpaid by rich individuals and corporations and far outweighs the 0.7% lost to fraud by claimants of benefits. We all now the companies involved, and the HUGE figures they've cost this country, so I don't need to mention them again, but they could fund our education needs and NHS for a decade with what they cost us in a single year. That's what the Lib-Dems should be shouting about. They used to care for their voters, now it seems, they care more for hanging on to what they've got for as long as they can, because it won't be very long.
It strikes me, the Lib-Dems are like a wife in a violent marriage, who thinks she can change her husband, after he strikes the first blow, walk away, it doesn't matter how many times he says sorry it won't happen again. It will. You can't change or control the Tories, they have one position and one ideology. A return to feudalism, with them as the lords and ladies of the manor, and everyone else as their serfs, with a sprinkling of freemen in the middle, to keep us in our place, awaiting the crumbs from the top table. IDS complains about the 12.5 million lost to fraud and ERROR by the DWP, yet doesn't mention the £16 million that lays UNCLAIMED in various benefits. HMRC doesn't go after the £125 BILLION in tax that is unpaid by rich individuals and corporations and far outweighs the 0.7% lost to fraud by claimants of benefits. We all now the companies involved, and the HUGE figures they've cost this country, so I don't need to mention them again, but they could fund our education needs and NHS for a decade with what they cost us in a single year. That's what the Lib-Dems should be shouting about. They used to care for their voters, now it seems, they care more for hanging on to what they've got for as long as they can, because it won't be very long. dellorri
  • Score: -3

8:57am Wed 4 Jun 14

allinittogether says...

He's out next May, the good people of Hallamshire will not tolerate being represented by someone so transparently lacking in integrity.
He's out next May, the good people of Hallamshire will not tolerate being represented by someone so transparently lacking in integrity. allinittogether
  • Score: 3

1:55pm Wed 4 Jun 14

john/garage says...

The Lib Dems are finished as a political party too out of touch with public views we need partys that will get things done not sit on the fence and do nothining it's time to stop wasting votes on this lot they have no direction, leadership, or point anymore.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT IT'S UKIP straight man straight talking commited to getting things done.
The Lib Dems are finished as a political party too out of touch with public views we need partys that will get things done not sit on the fence and do nothining it's time to stop wasting votes on this lot they have no direction, leadership, or point anymore. THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT IT'S UKIP straight man straight talking commited to getting things done. john/garage
  • Score: 0

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