Nick Clegg is "not a popular person" according to a senior Liberal Democrat peer.
Lord Storey, the party's education spokesman, stressed he found it "very difficult" as Mr Clegg is a "nice guy" with principles who passionately believes in what he is doing.
He told BBC One's Sunday Politics: "Knocking on doors in Liverpool, I have to tell you that Nick Clegg is not a popular person. And some might use the word toxic."
The comments will heap further pressure on the Lib Dem leader who has faced disastrous local and European election results as well as a bid to undermine his leadership from peer Lord Oakeshott.