In a Confidential memo dated March 12th 2008, “Lib Dems at all levels of the party” informed the US Embassy London that Nick Clegg must succeed as leader of the Lib Dems. The secret memo which has been classified by Political Minister Counselor Maura Connelly appears to show a concern at Nick Clegg’s choice to abstain from voting on the EU Treaty and a general concern with the Lib Dems performance since the 2006 sex scandal which forced Mark Oaten and then later Simon Hughes to stand down from the contest.
“why would the UK’s most pro-Europe party, whose new leader actually worked for the EU from 1994 to 1999, abstain on a vote on the Treaty? The answer, senior Lib Dems have confessed to us, is that the party leadership believes a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would fail.”
The organisers of the Lib Dem party conference told the American Government that the issue of the Lisbon Treaty would not be discussed at the conference out of fear of causing the issue to “blow-up” has it did in the House of Commons previously. One of the attendees at the conference said: “I know something bad happened, but I’m not sure what. I don’t really understand what the whole thing is about.”
“No matter how Clegg ultimately performs, however, XXXXXXXXXXXX told us frankly that, as the third Lib Dem leader in two years, the party has no choice but to make sure he succeeds. “We’ve got to make this one stick,” he said. Moore and Shadow Home Affairs Spokesman Jeremy Brown affirmed to us that there are no alternative leadership candidates to Clegg.”
The memo concludes on the performance of the Lib Dems being like a “Car crash in slow motion” starting with the previous leader Charles Kennedy being forced to step down for his alcoholism and then over the failure in the handling of the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Nick Clegg’s performance at a party conference is said to have undone some of the damage which was previously caused. “…they continue to be worth watching – and not just because the horror of it makes great copy.”