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Ex minister: Lib Dems now pointless
3:32am Saturday 12th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
A Liberal Democrat former minister has suggested that his party has become pointless.
In a fresh attack on the direction the Lib Dems are being taken in, Jeremy Browne said there was a lot of "conservatism" in the party and raised concerns that it "protects the state and the status quo".
It comes after earlier criticism of "political procrastination" and claims that the Lib Dems have become the "brake on the Government rather than being an accelerator".
In an interview with The Times, Mr Browne said: "Every political party and every politician has to be able to answer the question: if you didn't exist why would it be necessary to invent you?
"I'm not sure it would be necessary to invent an ill-defined moderating centrist party."
Mr Browne was unexpectedly sacked as a home office minister in last year's reshuffle and relations with party leader Nick Clegg are said to be strained.
The MP reportedly t ried to raise his concerns about the party's direction in person with the Deputy Prime Minister but was r ebuffed.
He added: "I remain very supportive of all Nick Clegg's instincts that made him a compelling candidate to be party leader and Deputy Prime Minister.
"Whether he has moved away from some of his instincts, people may feel that he has.
"Maybe I'm a more defiantly loyal supporter of Nick Clegg than Nick Clegg is of himself."