RECOVERING after major heart surgery Mike Hancock has thanked people for hundreds of calls and letters of support.
But the Portsmouth South MP said he was surprised not to have been contacted by Lib Dem party leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
He added that he had heard from former leaders, including Charles Kennedy, and even some political opponents while recovering at home after his heart bypass operation in June.
He said: ‘I received more than 1,000 cards and I’m very grateful to everyone who contacted me. I’m hoping to answer them all, it will just take me a while.
‘But I did think it was strange that I didn’t get a phone call or a card from Nick Clegg.
‘I would have thought your party leader would want to send a card. It was pretty disappointing.’
Mr Hancock added that although it was well-known that he is ‘not a fan’ of some decisions taken by Mr Clegg, he does talk to him regularly about various issues.
‘We might not agree on everything,’ he said. ‘But it was because people like me got elected and voted for him that he is where he is.
‘I always write to other colleagues who are sick – those from other parties as well,’ he added.
‘I was contacted by Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy and David Steel. I just find it strange that I haven’t heard from Clegg.’
Mr Hancock said he had also received half a dozen cards taunting him for needing the operation and saying they hope he doesn’t recover.
‘It’s not something I spend much time worrying about,’ he said .
‘But the thought that people took the time and trouble to write and tell me they hoped I would die does spook me a bit.’
He added that if he could give any advice to people of his age it would be not to ignore symptoms just because they aren’t commonly associated with heart trouble.
‘I didn’t have any of the things you would expect,’ he said. ‘It was a pain in my back, which I thought was a trapped nerve, that made me go to the doctor.
‘If I hadn’t done that I might not be here now.’
Nick Clegg’s office declined to comment.