The coalition is entering a dangerous period and it is probably no surprise that Paddy Ashdown is one of the first to reach for his knife.
In some extraordinary remarks to the Guardian, the Captain accuses Cameron of a breach of faith and warns that there will be “consequences”. He claims the prime minister “panicked in the face of his right-wingers” and helped propagate a “regiment of lies” during the AV campaign.
The remarks appear to have the backing of the Lib Dem command. Here are the Ashdown quotes – given to Patrick Wintour at the Guardian — in full:
“So far the coalition has been lubricrated by a large element of goodwill and trust. It is not any longer. The consequence is that when it comes to the bonhomie of the Downing Street rose garden, that has gone. It will never again be glad confident morning.”
After only partially quoting Robert Browning, he goes on to explain that the coalition is to become more “transactional”. Great news for the lawyers. Read more
Britain went to the polls on Thursday in a mix of local elections in England and national polls for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Voters also have their say in a referendum on changing the electoral system to the alternative vote. Read more
Ed Miliband’s stag do will be a very “Miliband affair” as it will take place at his home and partner Justine will be there, writes Allegra Stratton of the Guardian in her increasingly must-read column*.
How does this fit with Ed’s attempts to portray himself as a down-to-earth man of the people? Read more
One rumour of recent days is that the Lib Dems are so demoralised about their impending AV defeat that none will bother to attend the official count down in Docklands. The theory adds to the relentlessly negative narrative about Clegg’s party.
In fact it’s not quite true. I’m told that Chris Huhne, Lord Ashdown, Danny Alexander, Charles Kennedy and Simon Hughes will all in fact be at Friday’s count, if not for the entire afternoon/evening. Read more