It’s been revealed that the miserable Saddleworth weather put Nick Clegg off the idea of standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Oldham East and Saddleworth.
Mr Clegg, now his party’s leader and Deputy Prime Minister, was a Member of the European Parliament and on the lookout for a Westminster opportunity when he first visited Saddleworth.
According to an interview with him which appeared in the Daily Mail over the weekend, a friend had suggested the constituency would be ideal. Not only did it offer the possibility of a Lib Dem victory, but it would also appeal to Mr Clegg and his wife Miriam who are both keen walkers.
However, on the day he visited, it was pouring with rain. The Mail article states that Mr Clegg told a colleague he couldn’t see how he could sell our area to his Spanish wife.
In the end, Mr Clegg was selected for and won the Sheffield Hallam seat at the 2005 general election. Tony Dawson stood here for the Lib Dems, and was soundly beaten by the sitting MP, Labour’s Phil Woolas.
Mr Clegg has been a regular visitor to the constituency of late though. He came during the 2010 election campaign in support of Elwyn Watkins. He was here again three times before January’s by-election, held after Mr Watkins’ successful legal challenge against Mr Woolas.
You can read the Daily Mail piece in full here.
An in-depth interview given by Mr Clegg to Saddleworth News in December can be found here.