Clegg should end dictatorship over the party by 20 Lib Dem ministers
Senior Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South) has written to Nick Clegg ahead of his leader's speech to conference saying that he should end the dictatorship over the party by 20 Lib Dem ministers.
In his letter, he says that anything that goes beyond the coalition agreement should come back to the party's democratic triple lock procedures as defined by the party constitution. He points out that this did not happen with the VAT rise or the Academies Bill - measures that he voted against.
Mike Hancock said: "If Nick wants to change the party's constitution then he should bring forward the appropriate motions to conference, otherwise he should abide by it."
Mike also calls for the party not to abandon its traditional Beveridge heritage of support for a decent welfare state. He invokes Nick Clegg's words to the 2008 party conference: "In Britain today, some people are still more free than others. Pensioners spending a whole winter in the bedroom, because it's the only room they can afford to heat. That isn't freedom. Children shunted from one damp, temporary flat to another - sharing a bed with their parents because there's no space for a room of their own. That isn't freedom."
Mike calls the cuts to housing benefit vindictive and wants them not to go ahead. Mike Hancock said: "I don't think it is easy to live on benefits today - but if PM, Deputy Prime Minister and ministers think it is then I invite them to do so for a month."
Mike said: "Nick can make it clear to the party in his leader's speech that we are not abandoning our way of conducting our business or our values. I hope he does so."
Mike's letter can be read at http://www.mikehancock.co.uk/uploads/PDFs/letter_to_nick_clegg.pdf