Nick Clegg recalls his refusal to hold Brexit referendum in 2018
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And the former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader has been lambasted on social media, with one poster suggesting the party had “died on their a****”. Sir Nick, who now works for Facebook in California as its head of global affairs, shelled out the first substantial sum to the party away from his former Parliamentary constituency in Sheffield.
Prior to the election, Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie bolded claimed his party would prevent an SNP majority and protect the Union.
However, in the event, they actually lost one MP, and currently have just four – half the number of seats won by the Greens.
Other donors included businessmen Sudhir Choudhrie (£15,000) and Douglas Houston (£5,000) and former party leader Nicol Stephen, now a member of the House of Lords (£7,000).
The donations are among hundreds published by the Electoral Commission yesterday.
The Tories reported donations of £6.5m, Labour £4.4m, the LibDems £1.3m, the Reclaim Party £1.2m, Sinn Fein £880,000 and the SNP £571,000.
Sir Nick also gave the Lib Dems in Sheffield £5,000 in March, prior to which he had given them a total of £43,000 since 2008.
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Twitter users were not slow to poke fun at Sir Nick, who lost his seat in the 2017 general election.
One said: “That worked. They died on their a****. Outstanding!”
SNP MP James Dornan said: “A tenner very poorly spent I’d say!”
Michael Gill added: “A rip-roaring success, they lost a seat. Another one to chalk up on Clegg’s CV.”
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Mark Fletcher asked: “Would it have been more useful if he had just burned the money?”
Hugh McKenna observed: “He’ll be wanting his change.”
A Scot Lib Dem spokesman said: “All donations were received within the rules and contributed towards delivering our platform and manifesto based on the policy of putting recovery first.”
Mr Clegg has been a vociferous opponent of Scottish independence over the years.
Prior to the 2014 referendum he told Scottish Liberal Democrats at their spring conference in Aberdeen: “Forgot hearts and minds, this referendum is about capturing imaginations.
“Just as it is right that we must explain the risks and consequences of Scotland voting to leave the union, we must also set out the opportunities of voting to stay.
“The prospect of remaining in the UK must be just as thrilling as the drama of leaving it.”
He added: “Rejecting independence will not be choosing the status quo.
“It must, I believe, be a giant leap towards our long held liberal vision: home rule.
“The debate over Scotland’s future has meant the opportunity to deliver it has never been greater.”
Sir Nick’s failure to make an impact for the Lib Dems calls to mind fellow former leader Jo Swinson’s humiliation in the 2019 general election, when she was lost her Westminster seat to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan, stepping down soon afterwards.
Some criticism was levelled against Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, after footage emerged of her gleefully celebrating the result.
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