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Call for Lib Dems to abandon Coalition

The Liberal Democrat former leader of Liverpool City Council has become the first senior figure to call for the party to abandon its coalition with the Conservatives.

In a private email to Nick Clegg, which was leaked to the Liverpool Echo newspaper, Warren Bradley said councillors in the city were going to lose their seats because of the perceptions of the Lib Dems in government, regardless of the councillors’ own local achievements.

He said in the letter that the Liberal Democrats need to “reconsider what and who we are before we disappear into the annals of history as a political party who promised so much hope, yet failed because they wanted control and power”.

Bradley added: “Unfortunately the boil is about to come to a head and burst (probably on election night) when we lose some very well respected and experienced colleagues from Liverpool City Council.”

He told Clegg: "I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant, liberal principles have to shine through, we have to be independent and we have to sever ties from the Coalition; if we fail to do this, we have only our parliamentarians to blame."

But Clegg told ITV’s Daybreak programme: “These are very difficult times, and I'm not denying we're having to make controversial decisions, as anybody would who had come into power after the election last May, because we're cleaning up a terrible mess that was left behind.

“I think actually, Warren Bradley and everyone in Liverpool knows what it's like to clean up the mess left by Labour, that's exactly what Liberal Democrats in Liverpool had to do.”

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