First, the good news for Nick Clegg, courtesy of page 17 of today’s The Times. Clegg’s line on last week’s summit failure is that he agreed the initial negotiating position with David Cameron, but Cameron then messed up in the the talks themselves (abetted by some of the Treasury’s civil servants also messing up, if the media reports are right). The Tory counter-briefing is that Clegg was more involved than this.
And so the importance of today’s story [£]:
David Cameron’s officials agreed to consult Liberal Democrats during last week’s euro summit if there was a danger of Britain being left in a minority, it has emerged … Although Mr Clegg’s officials stayed up all night, no further call came until Mr Cameron rang Mr Clegg at 5:30am to break the news of Britain’s near isolation. Disclosure of the arrangement explains in part the sense of grievance among senior Liberal Democrats.
And the not so good news? When two former Chief Whips and the previous Party President both rebel, something’s up and the party’s leadership should take note.