The Liberal Democrats have issued an apology following Nick Clegg's 'No easy way to say this...' video. It reads as follows:
We'd like to take this opportunity to put a few things straight. When we meet people around the country, it's obvious that many of you have strong – indeed, violent – reactions to Nick Clegg.
Some of you tell us you're glad that at a time of real economic uncertainty, Nick has put aside his political differences with Conservatives and bent over backwards to please them. Often literally.
But usually, we meet people who are disappointed and angry that he's broken a promise he never made to you - to be a left-leaning centrist - and above all, that he's not Vince Cable.
To those people, we say this: we hoped before the election that Clegg wouldn't turn into a Tory under any circumstances. But that was a mistake. It was a hope with the best of intentions – but we shouldn’t have made hoped for something that we weren’t absolutely sure we could deliver.
We shouldn’t have committed to a leader who was so costly to our image when there was so much goodwill around. Not least when we secretly wanted to end up in Government in coalition with the Conservatives, and had absolutely no intention of working with Labour.
But we also realise that isn’t the point. There’s no easy way to say this: we put forward a leader who fooled many of us too – and for that we are sorry.
When you’ve made a mistake you should apologise. But more importantly - most important of all – you’ve got to learn from your mistakes. And that’s what we will do. We will never again choose a leader unless, as a party, we are absolutely clear about how we can stop him drifting off to the right.
We accept that won’t be enough for everyone. But we owe it to you to be up front about it - two and a half years after you all voted for us. And we don’t believe it should cast a shadow over everything else the Liberal Democrats are achieving in government. Like... hang on a second... [This part of the text is illegible]
When we’re wrong, we hold our hands up and say: 'It's not our fault'. But when we’re right, we wring our hands. We were right to leave the comfort of opposition to ruthlessly pursue power. And we know we are fighting for the right things, day in, day out, too: rebuilding our damaged image; changing our minds as we see fit; defending the vulnerable (Vince Cable) in these tough times.
That’s what our party believes in. That’s what we believe in. Unfortunately, it's not what Nick believes in. But if we’ve lost your trust, that’s how we hope we can start to win it back. By not agreeing with Nick.