Howard Elston, our Westminster editor, files this shock report on Nick Clegg’s sudden decision that he will leave government this week
I have received, by legal means, top Lidem Nick Clegg’s shock leaving speech which he will deliver to his party within the next seven days.
Eschewing such underhanded means as phone tapping, snooping on answerphones or going through rubbish (well, not recently anyhow), a copy of the statement has been sent to my Islington penthouse where I spend time when not grouse hunting near my Wolverhampton estate.
The top secret Clegg bombshell reads:
‘My time as leader of the Libdem coalition government is coming to an end. In this period, I have overseen many great victories for my party in this historic time that has resulted in so many decisions that have benefited the great British public.‘
‘But the time has come. I have crossed the Rubicon of my career and will leave this government, my party and Westminster to seek horizons anew.’
‘Maybe it is no secret that I personally take great pride in my open handed manner of dealing with coalition politics by sticking to my principles (such as over Europe, over tuition fees, over the creeping privitisation of the NHS and over a blood splattered illegal war in Afghanistan) when it comes to sharing decision making with David Cameron.‘
‘My proudest moment, of course, has been the UK walking away from Europe and 26 other brother countries.
‘It gave me great pride that the Prime Minister only called me after he had thrown his toys out of the political pram at 4 AM and woke me up while I was still in my pj’s and drinking my early morning cuppa and listening to Justin Webb on that morning left wing radio programme of his.’
‘I knew then that I was sitting at the epicentre of British politics.’
‘As of Monday 19th December, I shall be in the United States on the 20 grand per night lecture circuit displaying my international prowess to a bunch of gum chewing undergraduates who think Paris is in Texas and the Queen is Freddie Mercury.’
‘I hand over my baton to my good friend and loyal colleague Vince Cable who also has stuck to his guns and toed the Tory line whatever he actually believes.
‘God bless you, Britain…and good luck and please think kindly of me as I journey through the wastelands of America’s wealthy campuses and as Britain sails proudly into the future without a paddle.’