Watch yourself Nick Clegg: the 104/103 haven’t done it – but I will!

Nick Clegg's pledge on Tuition Fees - Void if elected
The Rt Hon. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, lies to the Electorate.

With the vote in the House of Commons on Tuition Fees approaching later this week, it is clear that most of the Liberal Democrats MPs are not going to stick to the pledges that they made

TO VOTE AGAINST
ANY INCREASE IN FEES
in the next parliament
and to pressure the
government to introduce
A FAIRER ALTERNATIVE.

As Gareth Epps said on Sunday,

I have heard rumours of at least one resignation from the Government, and think it in the interests of the Party and of higher education as a whole if this happens.  It appears that the numbers of definite ‘rebels’ – those pledging to keep to their pledge – are now at 14.  That is less than one-quarter of the Parliamentary Party and not a sufficient number to suggest that being seen to honour promises and pledges is enough of a priority for Liberal Democrat MPs.

…It seems the key discussion will be a meeting of the Parliamentary Party on Tuesday.  The communication – internally and otherwise – on this issue has been shameful.  The sort of weasel words being used to justify any support for the Government’s position is not resonating with anybody.  I hope that the next 48 hours see 43 Lib Dem MPs re-reading the manifesto commitment they made and the pledge they signed – and them doing what it takes to ensure they have any personal credibility by the end of the week.

According to Channel 4 news this lunchtime,

How they’re lining up

Of 17 Lib Dem frontbenchers, two – Lynne Featherstone and Steve Webb – are reported to be planning to vote against.

Transport Minister Norman Baker, Deputy Government Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael and whip Norman Lamb are undecided, as is ministerial aide Mike Crockart.

Gordon Birtwistle, aide to Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, is not saying how he will vote. Jenny Willott, aide to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, has implied that she will abstain.

The following 12 Lib Dem backbenchers have said they will vote against: [John] Leech, John Pugh, Roger Williams, Mark Williams, Ian Swales, Sir Menzies Campbell, Charles Kennedy, John Hemming, Julian Huppert, Greg Mulholland, Simon Wright and Bob Russell.

from Channel 4 News

If the Leadership of our Party does not stick to the principles that we have held since I joined the Party back in 1997 – during the Parliamentary General Election when Tuition Fees was a major issue – then I am sure that I will not be the only Liberal Democrat member* calling for a

Vote of no confidence in Nick Clegg MP

at the next conference of the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield in the Spring.

Anyone wanting to join me, please contact me on gyronny[at]me.com

* Update:

Original post “Nick Clegg MP: no confidence from party?” featured on the Lib Dem Golden Dozen #198.

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