Clegg hopes to buy time on Rennard
The first line of the Lib Dems’ disciplinary procedure rules states: “Dealing with disciplinary issues within the party can be one of the most time-consuming and unrewarding aspects of holding party office.”
I’m sure Nick Clegg won’t be rewriting that bit of the rule book.
It looks as though Clegg could buy himself a pause in this messy saga today, though not a pain-free one.
Read more: Lord Rennard breaks silence – on Facebook
If, as expected, the activists’ sub-committee on disciplinary matters, meeting as I write, decides to start a new procedure looking into whether Lord Rennard has brought the party into disrepute by not apologising, then some in the leadership will be hoping that triggers a new suspension for Lord Rennard from the whip in the Lords.
All that will have been achieved is a kicking of the can down the road but right now that probably seems the most appetising solution in prospect for Clegg who finds himself squashed between two sets of strongly committed party figures and tied up by a party rule book that lashes democratic and procedural chains around a leader trying to do his own thing.
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