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Who is behind the campaign to oust Nick Clegg?

27 May 2014

5:06 PM

27 May 2014

5:06 PM

Lord Oakeshott has gone under the radar, as speculation mounts about his involvement in a bid to oust party leader Nick Clegg. Many believe he is responsible for commissioning a poll that appeared in today’s Guardian, showing that Clegg and other Lib Dems could lose their Commons seats if he remains leader.

Looking through the House of Lords Register of Members’ interests, it’s clear that Oakeshott is very rich indeed, boasting numerous Directorships and shareholdings. He certainly has the financial clout to fund such a poll.


The register reveals something else, too: that Oakeshott has one member of staff, called Naomi Smith. She confirmed to me that she is ‘a researcher for him in my spare time’.

A senior Lib Dem source told me that it is becoming clear that Smith is ‘intimately involved’ in running the campaign to oust Nick Clegg, which was launched just before polls closed on Thursday. Another Lib Dem source also agrees that Smith is one of the ringleaders in the campaign. She did not respond to requests for comment on these allegations.

Naomi Smith is well known in Lib Dem circles. She was a parliamentary candidate in 2010, has long been a critic of Nick Clegg’s leadership, and is a supporter of Vince Cable as a replacement. Like father like daughter, in 2012, Smith’s father, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Smith of Clifton, also called for Nick Clegg to resign and for him to be replaced by Cable.

Lord Oakeshott did not respond when approached for comment. His silence, and the fact that he registers Smith as a member of staff, won’t do anything to weaken the accusations levelled at him that he’s a plotter.

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Show comments
  • Hexhamgeezer

    According to Wiki he managed Courtaulds pension fund. Most of that money came from the public purse while the owners trousered regional grants galore.

    Oakshit is just about right

  • John Smith

    Is Oakeshott the most annoying person in politics? What is he for?

    • 2trueblue

      He certainly is top of the list. The answer for part two is unprintable.

  • Diomedes1962

    Cleggy out, Compo in!

  • Greenslime

    Another PPE holding parasite of the public teet. Weasel of the of the Supreme Order of Weaseldom! Doesn’t appear ever to have won any election for anything but seemingly adept at behind the scenes work. Difficult to see, though, who he thinks he represents. Et tu Brut………….

  • Smithersjones2013

    Who is behind the campaign to oust Nick Clegg?

    The poisonous dwarf has confirmed it was Oakeshott.

  • swatnan

    Any chance of Oakeshott being defrocked and having his title taken off him. This is probably the strongest argument for abolishing the Lords, that far too many of them think they can do what they like and nobody can touch them. Bring on an Elected Senate.


    Oooh suspicious. Not really.

    Naomi is heavily involved in the Social Liberal Forum pressure group which has advocated an economic strategy similar to that which Cable pushed for during the GE – and subsequently where he’s mentioned a Plan A+.

  • you_kid

    ‘Verociously’ independent polls show that Clegg would not retain his seat next year, nor would many other LibDems. That is the end. We might as well end it now and call for General Elections.
    That would of course throw a spanner in the works of all those who would wish to see Scotland leave. That is the main reason why Clegg and his coalition government are clinging on to power. The outcome of Clegg stepping down would be incalculable. That is why it will be resisted at ALL cost.

  • CharlietheChump

    Oakeshott never misses a chance to shoot his oily mouth off, the fact he’s keeping shtum tells us all we need to know.

    • siarldegalles

      Oakeshott is a poisonous drag artist.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        And weapons-grade slimy git to boot!

  • GUBU

    To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, is this not a case of the unspeakable in pursuit of the increasingly unelectable?

  • Swiss Bob

    Who is behind the campaign to oust Nick Clegg?

    The electorate?

    • CharlietheChump

      Nice one Bob

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Top comment Bob! Nice one.

    • ArchiePonsonby

      Ha ha! Now THAT’S funny!