Poor old Nick Clegg. Damned for apparently abandoning his principles when the hooked the Lib Dems into the coalition and now damned for sticking to his guns in the European elections by (whisper it) saying being in Europe might not be a bad thing.
He’s got Vince Cable saying one thing in support but apparently saying something completely different between the lines, vocal Peers releasing what appears to be remarkably unreliable polling reports, and, according to various reports, the subject of a really badly planned leadership coup.
But I’ve found a politician who would probably give his right arm to be Nick Clegg at the moment. Step forward Malcolm Pritchard, a councillor in Accrington:
The deputy leader of Hyndburn council has been suspended by the Labour Party while a police investigation is conducted over accusations made by her father that she has committed electoral fraud.
Clare Pritchard is due to contest her Milnshaw seat in Accrington in a head-to-head battle with her father Malcolm, a candidate for UKIP, in Thursday’s local elections.
Police have confirmed that they have received an allegation of “alleged electoral irregularity”.
Mr Pritchard said he had contacted Hyndburn council’s returning officer Jane Ellis claiming there was evidence that four voters from other wards had been registered as living at Ms Pritchard’s Moss Hall Road address in the ward.
So, to recap. A man standing against his daughter for a rival party in the same council seat has reported her to the police for alleged election fraud.
It’s not the first time they’ve gone head to head either:
The pair first stood against each other at county council elections last year with Ms Pritchard unseating her father as county councillor for Accrington North.
Speaking at the time Mr Pritchard said he felt ‘dishonoured’ by the result.
Earlier this month, Mr Pritchard said he was devastated that they were going head to head in the Milnshaw ward and that no other candidates would be standing.
The good news for Mr Pritchard is that he won last Thursday’s local elections. Not that it seems to have improved his mood.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph after beating his daughter by 112 votes he said he wished he had ‘never set his eyes on politics’.
He said: “I just wish I had not been elected but I’m here now so I will have to grin and bear it.
“Politics does not matter to me, people do. Winning is not bitter-sweet, it’s entirely bitter.
“If it had not been for what happened this week she would still in and I would have been proud of her.
“What has happened is wrong and I’m just sorry for Clare.”
Since then, Mr Pritchard’s been having a tough time on the political front too – causing confusion that he’d defected from UKIP because he plans to act as an independent. At least that’s what he told Radio Lancashire, before clarifying he was ‘UKIP UKIP UKIP.’
See Nick, as least politics isn’t dividing your family…