Pick of the week: A brave new era of Continuity Clegg

Has the new Lib Dem leader underestimated the task ahead of him?
Has the new Lib Dem leader underestimated the task ahead of him?
Natalie Bloomer By

A chance for you to catch up on our five most-read articles this week.

Five: Metropolitan police to reverse Theresa May's cuts to stop and search

In fifth place is our story that the Metropolitan police are to reverse Theresa May's cuts to stop and searches following an increase in knife deaths in the capital. Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said that violence had begun to increase after reductions in stop and search in recent years. This comes just a week after Zac Goldsmith suggested the decision to reduce stop and search by an "arbitrary figure" had led to an increase in deaths in the city.


Four: Downing Street refuses to comment on David Cameron pig head claims

The big story at the start of the week was the allegations made in a biography by Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott that David Cameron took part in a bizarre university ritual involving his own genitals and a dead pig's head. The book also repeats claim of the prime minister's drug taking in his younger days. His spokesperson refused to comment on the subject.

Three: Manchester homeless camp could face prison

In third place is news that seven members of the Manchester homeless camp are due in court next week and could face prison. They are accused of breaching a council injunction which prevents them from sleeping in tents in the city centre in protest against the coucil's homeless policies. There were ugly scenes last week as bailiffs entered the camp's most recent site and once again moved them on.

Two: Farron's speech was brilliantly delivered – but terribly misjudged

Next, is our verdict on Tim Farron's speech to the Lib Dem conference. He delivered it well but as was clear from earlier briefings this was a continuity-Clegg speech. He alluded to mistakes in government but he didn't say what they were or apologise for them. So did the new leader do enough to win back some much needed public support or did he miss his chance to make a clear break with the past?

One: If a Lib Dem conference takes place and no-one realises, did it really happen?

In the top spot this week is more coverage from the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth. Inside the centre nothing much seemed to have changed since the paty's time in government. It's not that they don't recognise their diminished status. It's that the emotional reality hasn't sunk in yet. There's no arguing that the the party has been badly bruised by its time in government but if it is to move forward it will need to to start asking itself some important questions.

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