'Bumbling' Clegg faces more leadership dissent: reports
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Pressure is mounting on Britain's deputy PM Nick Clegg amid fresh warnings from within his own party over his leadership, newspapers reported today.
The Sunday Times weekly reported that senior Liberal Democrat figures have said that the Clegg is not "indispensable" and could be replaced by Britain's current business secretary Vince Cable at the head of the party.
The Lib Dems are the junior partner in a coalition government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, which twas formed in May 2010.
Adrian Sanders, a veteran Liberal Democrat lawmaker, told the Sunday Times that Clegg needed to stop "just bumbling along worrying about the future" and to take action to rebuild support in the party.
His comments were echoed by the Lib Dem peer Trevor Smith, a former professor of politics, who told the paper that Clegg was "just a cork bobbing on the waves" with "no strategic vision at all".
"It's not as if Clegg is indispensable," the paper reported him as saying.
"Vince Cable possesses the appeal and the credibility to lead the Liberal Democrats into the next election."
Andrew Bridgwater, vice-chairman of Devon and Cornwall regional party and chairman of the Liberal Democrat education association, went even further, calling on Clegg to quit as leader.
"The sooner Nick resigns and creates a vacancy for Vince, the better," he told The Independent on Sunday weekly. "To put it bluntly, I would encourage Vince Cable to stand for the leadership to take us into the next election."
Their comments came after one of Cable's closest allies, former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Matthew Oakeshott, warned last week that the party may have to consider a change of "management and strategy" if it is to stand any chance at the next general election.
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