Shirley Williams: Clegg isn’t holding the country to ransom, he’s holding Cameron to ransom.

Baroness Williams meets a balloon seller on Fargate

Baroness Williams meets a balloon seller on Fargate

UPDATE 4/5/10- Thought it was worth adding this in the light of Nick Clegg’s comments on GMTV this morning. My first question to Baroness Williams was along the lines of “Can you imagine a situation where the Liberal Democrats would enter into a coalition with another party without PR on the table, specifically.”

Her one word answer was “No”.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Shirley Williams admitted that Nick Clegg could hold the Conservatives to ransom over electoral reform today, during a visit to Sheffield.

Last week David Cameron accused Mr Clegg of trying to “hold the country to ransom” after insisting that reform be a pre-condition for offering support to any party in a hung parliament.

Baroness Williams, 79, said: “It’s not the country. The country’s completely lost faith in the first-past-the-post system. They did some time ago.

“It’s absurd to think that the country is devoted to first-past-the-post when they clearly aren’t. I would say if anyone’s been held to ransom, it’s Mr Cameron.”

Baroness Williams was in Sheffield in support of the Lib Dem candidate for Sheffield Central, Paul Scriven. She met and spoke with voters on Fargate, along with Mr Scriven, Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed and former Sheffield Hallam MP Richard Allen.

With three days to go before the polls open, Mr Scriven said he was pleased with the swell of support for his party, but was wary of coming across as overconfident.
“We never take a vote for granted. The really pleasing thing is that there’s clearly a shift to us from the people who have never voted before, people who have voted Labour before and particularly from young people.

“I think it’s going to be an extremely close fight, and I think we’ve got a really good chance of winning.”

Baroness Williams was one of the founder members of the Social Democratic Party, which merged with the Liberal Party in 1998 to form the Liberal Democrats. In 2007 she accepted a government position as Gordon Brown’s Advisor on Nuclear Proliferation, though she remains a member of the Liberal Democrats. She has appeared on the BBC’s Question Time programme more times than any other commentator.

Richard Allen was Nick Clegg’s predecessor as Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam. He stepped down in 2005, and now works as a lobbyist for Facebook, where he works to push the company’s agenda on internet privacy in Europe.


One response to “Shirley Williams: Clegg isn’t holding the country to ransom, he’s holding Cameron to ransom.

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