Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg revealed his “biggest mistake” during his time in power.
He was a “sitting mute” during Prime Minister’s question time every week, Clegg said in an interview with Newsnight.
Britain’s Liberal Democrats had their worst defeat in their history in this year’s General Election.
The Lib Dems came fourth with only 7.9% of the total UK vote in May and was the only political party to lose seats.
To put the defeat of the Lib Dems into perspective, every single political party gained a share of the UK vote since 2010 — except the Lib Dems which lost 15.2%.
It led to Clegg resigning and Tim Farron taking over.
“Everybody in the Liberal Democrats and people close to us were heartbroken that after all the work we had put in, I think, mistakes here and there, the interests of the country came to nought. And clearly what we did, with the benefit of hindsight, we put the country first but in a way that was damaging,” said Clegg before trailing off.
“With the passage of time, the most interesting question is to have the kind of politics that I believe in — reason, pluralism, give and take — in a system which discriminates very heavily against those kinds of compromises.”
When asked by the presenter about how Clegg takes “such rejection,” the former Lib Dem leader looked a little awkward.
“I’m a human being, I’m not a robot, of course it hurts and I won’t pretend otherwise but there’s no point in me coming here and mawkishly licking my wounds on national television,” said Clegg. “You shouldn’t go into politics and you certainly shouldn’t assume senior office in government thinking you’re entitled to a breezy ride thereafter.”
Clegg then laughed and said “there were so many” when he was asked what was his biggest regrets during his time as leader.
He added his biggest mistake was “sitting mute during Prime Minister Question time in parliament every week was a terrible encapsulation of what our critics said about us, being passengers in the government. Maybe I should have sat somewhere else.”
For the full interview, check it out here:
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