​Time for Ed Davey to step down - John McLellan

​Just when local Lib Dems were bobbing along on the crest of a mini-revival, I doubt many gave much thought to the fast-unfolding Post Office prosecutions scandal.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed DaveyLiberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey

Lib Dems like to style themselves as everyone’s friend, not stern socialists or nasty Tories, just nice people looking out for their neighbourhood, the ultimate Goldilocks party, not too hot, not too cold, just nice.

But when it comes to hard choices and taking responsibility, the façade crumbles.

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I’ve never met him, but by all accounts, the UK Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey is a decent chap, inoffensive if somewhat irritating as he goofs it up for another photo stunt.

Recently he’s been styling himself as the “Removal Man” who’s going to prise Rishi Sunak from Number Ten. How droll.

But now the calls for his own removal are gathering pace as his part in the Post Office scandal becomes clear.

They lied to me, he pleads, but when he took over as minister for postal affairs in 2010, the problem should have been obvious.

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Parson’s Green postmistress Fiona McGowan, wrongly accused of stealing £30,000, sank into depression and died of a drugs and alcohol overdose. But that was in 2009.

A meeting with campaigner Alan Bates, Sir Ed told him, would not “serve any useful purpose”, and although he relented, he continued to believe the Post Office. Put another way, he didn’t believe Mr Bates.

If Sir Ed is an honourable man, he should take his own advice and remove himself.

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