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Why no new Lib Dems for the Lib Dem think tank?

Michael Crick | 13:07 UK time, Thursday, 15 July 2010

To the summer party of Centre Forum last Monday, the think tank which is widely linked to the Lib Dems.

The highlight of the evening was a speech from Nick Clegg who spoke of the difficulties of watching the World Cup final the previous night whilst having a Dutch mother and Spanish wife.

Clegg revealed that he'd switched allegiance at half-time out of disgust for the aggressive Dutch tactics. When David Cameron texted to ask how he was getting on, Clegg said he texted back: "Coalition in the Clegg household is under strain."

The Centre Forum think tank is generally seen as the one pro-Lib Dem think tank in politics, though strangely they used tonight's summer party to announce several new members of their advisory board - including Andrew Adonis, Will Hutton, Danny Finkelstein, David Willetts and Andrew Tyrie. Strangely not a single Lib Dem name among them.

I can only conclude that the Charilty Commissioners must have been on to them. The Commission's rules are very strict about think tanks claiming charitable status. They must not be seen to be committed to any one party. Hence perhaps these new jobs for Adonis, Finkelstein and co.

Incidentally, Centre Forward recently changed its name from Centre Forum. Why the change? One reason, I was told, was that critics were always tempted to mock the old name as "Centre For .... Um".



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