Since the leadership election for the Liberal Democrats is in full swing with ballot papers being issued I feel this is a time to reflect on the amazing job our last leader did despite us losing 49 seats in the 2015 general election.
It doesn’t seem eight years ago since Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg were battling to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. There was a massive commotion during the last leadership election about Chris Huhne allegedly issuing a paper calling Nick ‘calamity Clegg’ in which he denies issuing that paper till this very day. Overall Nick won with a small majority of votes over Chris.
Over those eight years It saw the party go through many changes and challenges, but properly the biggest challenge of all was the rise in tuition fees despite outlining in their 2010 manifesto that they would vote against any rise in tuition fees. However I believe that Nick was a honest man after braking this promise and admitting that he had broken that promise in a video message that would late become a song, I’m sure everybody has heard it. However the Liberal Democrats stopped the Conservatives from cutting university grants, grants that are vital for students who come from a low income family, something that the Conservatives are trying to do within this Government.
Thanks to Nick, he brought the Liberal Democrats into government by forming a coalition government with the Conservatives in 2010, bringing many of his top people with him such an Vince Cable who became Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and his former leadership opponent Chris Huhne who became the Secretary of Energy and Climate Change.
Nick also made a big effort to communicate with the British public through his weekly phone in show on LBC, which was a huge success with many people phoning in with their questions for Nick on currently political issues. This shows that Nick was always willing to listen to the British public views.
Nick also had a clear view on mental health, making clear that physical health is just as important as mental health. Which shows to have paid off in the last government as 2 million more people were treated with access to talking therapies.
Overall I believe that Nick made a brilliant leader of the Liberal Democrats. Making many positive moves for the party within the coalition government despite the shocking result in the 2015 general election, Nick managed to rise above many challenges he faced from 2010-2015 such as the Eastleigh by-election. Without Nick being at the cabinet table, I fear that the country would be in a worse state than it is today.
Now lets hope our next leader will be just as amazing and brilliant as Nick was.