Was Nick Clegg a student Tory?

by Stephen Tall on April 15, 2008

That’s the vital question zinging across the political blogosphere today, following the shocking revelation by Tory MP Greg Hands on ConservativeHome this morning that the Lib Dem leader may have been a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association in his first year at Robinson College, 1986-87.

Nick’s spokesman has categorically denied it: “Nick is one hundred per cent adamant that this isn’t true”.

Undoubtedly the public will be dismayed to discover that a 19 year-old may have changed his mind about politics since growing up; and/or may have entirely forgotten about membership of a student club during the two decades which have intervened.

Thank goodness for Mr Hands’ crusade, and the exhaustive research he has conducted – and how disarming of him to confess to his bemusement at the media interest: “imagine my surprise when Jonathan Isaby of the Daily Telegraph took an interest in the matter”. Yes, just imagine!

Of course, this storm is not concerned with Nick’s disputed membership; it’s the subsequent alleged ‘cover-up’ which will give journalists the excuse to string this out journalists are duty-bound to investigate. Watergate had nothing on this.