Sanctimonious Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes has accepted a government job, despite having said that he would not. Speculation about who might replace him reached fever pitch last night at the annual Nick Clegg bash, which is always a night to remember. Insiders deride the job as ‘talking to bearded activists about hemp soup’. It’s among the more tedious posts in Westminster; but someone has to do it to keep the Lib Dem grass roots sweet.

Tories and right-wing yellows are still sore that Nick Clegg sacked dishy West Country MP Jeremy Browne during the last reshuffle, and #TeamJezza soon gained traction. Mr S rather likes the idea of Browne as Clegg’s deputy: he would provide a bit of Gladstonian muscle to proceedings, and tell the muesli-munchers when and where to get off.  Sadly, though, senior Liberal Democrat sources have been quick to pour a very large bucket of ice cold water on the idea: ‘He has a fan base of 1. Not a chance. Seriously. Or if he does I will eat my pancreas.’

Less exciting people like Tessa Munt or Nick Harvey are the preferred candidates to assume the less than thrilling role.

Tags: Jeremy Browne, Liberal Demcorats, Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes