‘It is pretty clear from the article that The Telegraph have made this up. They must be a bit desperate for copy.’
– John Leech MP (by email)
Leading blogger Cllr Bob Piper was left unsurprised at the news that the Lib Dems would support a minority Tory government should the next election result in a hung parliament… without demanding anything much in return.
Such a move would be a calamity for Manchester Withington’s Lib Dem MP John Leech, who was largely swept in on a wave of anti-war sentiment and NHS scaremongering. John continues to spit feathers at any suggestion that a vote for him is a vote for the Tories, so I couldn’t resist engaging him in a little banter. He claims the Telegraph have made the whole thing up and would regard Labour’s use of the ‘vote John Leech, get a Tory government’ line as an attempt ‘to con people’.
Meanwhile, Nick Clegg is not particularly anti-Tory. He joined the Conservative Party Association at university (but probably not the party proper) and worked for Sir Leon Brittan, the Tory EU commissioner.
Add to that that talk of backing the Tories is nothing new – someone gave the FT the same story back in February – and it looks more likely that John Leech is out of the loop and the FT and Telegraph are best informed. And so ‘vote John Leech for a Tory government’ is a fair summary of the situation.