by Stephen Tall on November 23, 2009
An email pings into LDV’s email inbox from the Lib Dems’ director of election communications, Jonny Oates, stating categorically that Nick Clegg did not express a preference for dealing with the Tories over Labour.
Now it has been known, just occasionally, for Nick to speak a little faster than he thinks. But, as I posted here, yesterday Nick really was crystal clear about how he would approach the vexed question of a ‘hung Parliament’ – and still the media managed to distort his remarks! In rebutting today’s inaccurate press reports, all Jonny had had to do is reproduce the transcript of what Nick actually said:
In view of today’s press reports about a balanced parliament, I thought it would be useful to provide the text of what Nick said on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday. As you will see, these comments do not indicate any preference between the other two parties in the event of no party having an overall majority.
“I think it is an inevitable fact, it is just stating the obvious, the party which has got the strongest mandate from the British people will have the first right to seek to govern.
“I start from a very simple first principle – it is not Gordon Brown or David Cameron or Nick Clegg who are kingmakers in British politics – it’s the British people.
“So the votes of the British people are what should determine what happens afterwards.
“Whichever party have the strongest mandate from the British people, it seems to me obvious in a democracy they have the first right to seek to try and govern, either on their own or with others.”