Baroness Tonge Says Nick Clegg In For 'A Lot Of Flak' For Disowning Her Over Israel Remarks

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Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge has claimed her party leader Nick Clegg acted "hastily" in quickly disowning her after she said Israel "would not be there forever".

She was forced to give up the party whip after the Deputy Prime Minister told her to apologise or resign hours after her comments to students at Middlesex University were revealed.

During a talk at the university, she claimed Israel would "reap what it has sown" if the United States decided to withdraw its support, telling students the country "would not be there forever".

She was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme if she thought Mr Clegg was justified in disowning her.

Baroness Tonge replied: "I think (he acted) very hastily and I think ill-advisedly. He's going to have a lot of flak about it, I do know that.

"Of course, I always have an enormous amount of flak and I am quite used to that. But I have also had an enormous amount of support."

The peer - twice fired from the frontbench previously for anti-Israel outbursts - said she stood by her remarks.

The former health spokesman and MP for Richmond Park from 1997 to 2005 said: "You know, it has been said by many, many people, to say that if Israel continues with the policies it's pursuing at the moment towards the Palestinians, let alone in the wider Middle East, if you combine that with the fact that Israel has lost its allies like Turkey and Egypt and is making enemies all over the Middle East, if you add to that the fact it just cannot carry on pursuing the policies, doing the things it's doing, and expecting to survive.

"At the moment it survives because it has the backing of America but that may not go on forever. The American people may get fed-up of backing this state that angers everyone and irritates everyone."