I was originally going to title this blog post ‘Stephen Lloyd – principled or perverse?’. I changed the titled on quick reflection because there is no two ways about it. He knew what the Lib Dem party stood for and, yet, reneged on his obligation to the party’s primary platform which is to be the anti Brexit party.
Caron Lindsay has written about Mr Lloyd resigning the whip due to ‘irreconcilable differences’. Blinking heck, how on earth was Mr Lloyd expecting to reconcile an anti-Brexit with a pro-Brexit stance? I think he was taking the concept of ‘Centrism’ a little too far by expecting some sort of middle road to spring up when none exists.
Quite rightly Caron Lindsay asks why the party allowed him to stand in the first place knowing his views? The cynic in me thinks that both the party and Mr Lloyd were desperate for a win and kicked the problem into the long grass instead of addressing it head on.
The party has made a big deal of the cohesion that exists within Lib Dem MPs, in contrast to Labour and Tory MPs, and to have an MP renege on that collective position over something so fundamental and long standing does not make sense in the least.
There is no whitewashing Mr Lloyd’s position and the party should have learnt the negative lessons of doing that from the Coalition years. You can’t place yourself in an untenable position and then call for the application of nuances to get you out of it.