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Nick Clegg:"I was blindsided by exit polls"

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has insisted he did not destroy the Liberal Democrats in his first major broadcast interview since the general election.

Mr Clegg stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader after his party ended up with just eight seats. Speaking on LBC he claimed that quitting as leader before going to the polls would not have helped the party avoid its catastrophic defeat. And that he does not regret going into coalition for "one millisecond" despite the near wipe-out.

Mr Clegg does admit, however, to have been "blindsided" by the exit polls but that on election night, his immediate focus had been to maintain his Sheffield seat.


Nick Clegg to be interviewed as party begins to vote on leader replacement

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg is set to give his first interview following the general election.

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg is set to give his first interview following the general election. Credit: Press Association

The LBC interview will take place as ballots are distributed to party members tasked with electing his replacement.

Mr Clegg stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader after his party ended up with just eight seats, falling from the more than fifty they had won in 2010.

Last Orders: Orgreave and Bradford family

Last week's Last Orders featured discussion on the Orgreave campaign and the ongoing story of the Bradford family which has made its way to Syria after attending a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Guests were Louise Haigh MP, Lab Sheffield Heeley, Lib Dem Lord Wallace of Saltaire and Philip Davies MP, Con Shipley. John Stapleton presented the show from ITV's Westminster studio

  1. National

Labour leadership nominations to close at noon

Labour leader candidates: Corbyn, Kendall, Burnham and Cooper Credit: PA

The line up of candidates vying to become the leader of the Labour Party will be finalised at midday, when the deadline for nominations passes.

Currently, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow health minister Liz Kendall, are all in the race, each having received at least 35 nominations from other Labour MPs.

However, dozens of the party's 232 current MPs are yet to declare their support, and left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently 13 short, might yet force his way into contention.

Once nominations are over, candidates will take part in a series of debates in marginal seats Labour failed to win this year all around the country. The eventual winner will then be voted on by members of the Labour Party as a whole, and announced on 12 September.


  1. Tyne Tees

North East MP criticises IPCC decision not to investigate Orgreave violence

An injured picket is carried way from the line at the Orgreave coking plant Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A North East MP has criticised a decision by the Police Complaints Commission not to investigate alleged misconduct by officers against picketing miners during the 1984 miners strike.

Labour MP Dave Anderson, who represents Blaydon in Gateshead, used to work as a miner.

He says he was present at the Orgreave plant in Rotherham in Yorkshire where it is alleged officers used "excessive force".

But following a two-year analysis of thousands of pages of documents related to the case, the IPCC said it had decided not to launch an investigation into the conduct of South Yorkshire Police.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, Lab Credit: John Stilwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Anderson has described the decision as an establishment cover up by the 'forces of darkness'.

He said: "I'm not surprised by the outcome. It is yet another establishment cover up.

"Innocent people were stitched-up, beaten-up and set-up by the agents of the state and I have no doubt that this is the forces of darkness closing ranks to protect the powers that be that really run this country as opposed to us, who are democratically elected."

Mary Creagh withdraws from leadership race

Mary Creagh stands down

The Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has just announced that she is standing down from the race to become the new Labour leader. On her Facebook page she says:

"Thank you so much for your support over the past few weeks. I've been touched by all the amazing messages from friends old and new. But I wanted you to be the first to know. Today I am withdrawing from the race to be the Leader of the Labour Party. I wish the remaining candidates well as they embark on their journey around Britain."

David Cameron takes aim at former Bradford West MP during question from successor

Toppled Bradford West MP George Galloway had the "unique distinction of always speaking with immense power, but always being completely wrong", David Cameron has said.

George Galloway has announced his intention to run for Mayor of London Credit: Press Association

The Tory leader criticised him as he welcomed his successor - Labour's Naseem Shah - to the Commons during Prime Minister's Questions today.

On behalf of the whole House, can I welcome you to your place. You replace someone who I think had a unique distinction of always speaking with immense power, but always being completely wrong. I'm sure you will take a different approach.

– David Cameron

Ms Shah asked why Bradford continued to be "neglected" in the Prime Minister's regional plans.

Mr Cameron replied: "Bradford should be part of this northern powerhouse because the concept is linking up the great cities of the north of England and making the most of them.

"In terms of neglecting Bradford, I would say quite the opposite.

"If you look at the spending power per dwelling that your local authority has, it is actually almost £2,300 - that is almost £300 more than the average for England."

As Ms Shah asked her question, she said she was wondering whether Mr Cameron ever actually answered any posed to him during the weekly sparring session.

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