If this had been said directly, on camera, by Nick Clegg two days ago it would have been a pretty decent comment. Too late and in the name of ‘party spokesperson’, it’s not:
Nick Clegg did not approve or have prior knowledge of the police operation to detain David Miranda.
Liberal Democrats have long stood up for the civil liberties of British citizens and, as you know, the Coalition Government inherited a number of over-broad and draconian terrorism powers from Labour. In Government we led a review of these powers. Some have already been changed and the Coalition is currently pressing Parliament to tighten up these laws further to avoid abuses, including reform of Section 7 which was introduced by the last Labour government. We recognise the serious concerns raised over the detention of David Miranda. The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation is investigating this and we will wait to hear his conclusions.
Compared to my previous criticism of the party’s response, this says the right things. But good politics, good leadership and good government is about having the right person say the right thing at the right time.
One out of three isn’t nearly enough.