The Clegg Coup is an insider's account of a rise to power that horrified the political establishment. In three weeks the Liberal Democrat leader went from being David Cameron's favourite joke to his deputy prime minister and apparently the most popular British politician since Churchill. But far from being some over-night TV sensation, this triumph was the culination of half a century's work by Liberals, a process the book will explain.
It will also catalogue the rise of Clegg and what has gone on inside Number 10 since that blosom filled day in the Downing Street rose garden when two implacable enemies announced they were forming a government. This will include first hand accounts and diaries from cabinet ministers and other leading players on the negotiations and their groundbreaking attempts to run a coalition government. The story includes many rows but also some remarkable friendships.
Gerard has unique access having known Clegg and many of the key players for many years. He started writing about Clegg in newspaper columns when the young MP was still virtually unknown, and conducted the interview that launched Clegg's leadership bid. The book is an admiring portrait of an impressive new force in British politics but it also quotes prominent colleagues who remain sceptical of Clegg-Cameron duopoly and explore where on earth it might lead.
As a philosophy graduate, Jasper Gerard harboured dreams of becoming the next Kierkegaard but instead found himself living on a diet of Champagne and cheap rumour as a gossip columnist for the Daily Telegraph. This followed a graduate traineeship at The Sunday Times where he studied for a diploma in journalism, when not being sent out in comical disguises by the editor of the Insight team.Gerard went on to edit the Sunday Telegraph’s Mandrake column which was soon moved to the back page and he was appointed, aged 26, the paper’s associate editor. He left to become editor of week...
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