Nick Clegg had offered to resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats a year before the General Election to save his party from collapse, it was claimed last night.
Mr Clegg had been under pressure from his party after a humiliating performance in the local and European elections in May 2014 – in which the Lib Dems lost ten out of 11 MEPs and 40 per cent of their local councillors.
At the time, the party leader insisted while the results were ‘gutting’ and ‘heartbreaking’ he had not considered resigning reports Daily Mail.
But it is now understood he did offer to step aside, telling senior Lib Dems he feared he had become ‘the problem’.
He is understood to have made numerous phone calls to discuss his position, telling one colleague: ‘If I believe – and I am very close to thinking it – I am the problem and not the solution, I have to stand to one side’, a party insider told the Guardian.
It was speculated at the time that Mr Clegg could stand down as party leader to allow the Lib Dems a fresh start, while remaining as Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition.