Clegg's permanent coalition call

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has told his party's conference that he believes coalitions should be a permanent feature of British politics. But 67% of voters appear to prefer single-party government, according to the ITV News Index.

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Clegg takes a swipe at tax break for married couples

Nick Clegg will criticise the Conservative policy of tax breaks for married couples a prioritising some families over others. Credit: PA

Nick Clegg will criticise the flagship Conservative policy of tax breaks for married couples as prioritising some families over others.

Mr Clegg will describe how his belief in social mobility and educational opportunity is driven by the example of his Dutch mother, who spent much of her childhood in a prisoner-of-war camp, and his half-Russian father, whose family came to England after losing everything in the Revolution.

In his party conference speech, the Deputy Prime Minister will accuse the tax break of being in stark contrast to yesterday's announcement of free school meals for infants - a new policy the Liberal Democrats are taking credit for.

"Their priority is to help some families over others, with a tax break for married couples," he will say. "That tells you everything you need to know about their values.

"We however, will help all families in these tough times, not just the kind we like best, by helping their young children get the best possible start in life - and that tells you everything about ours."

Clegg: Lib Dems 'aren't done yet'

The Liberal Democrats do not want to go back to opposition because "they aren't done yet", according to their leader Nick Clegg.

In his speech to the Liberal Democrat party conference in Glasgow, the Deputy Prime Minister will warn against a return to leaving either of the big parties to rule alone: "Left to their own devices, they'll both get it wrong."

Here's what's at stake at the next election; the country is finally emerging from the biggest economic crisis in living memory.

The absolute worst thing to do would be to give the keys to Number 10 to a single-party government - Labour or the Conservatives.

All of the sacrifices made by the British people - the pay freezes, the spending cuts, the lost jobs, the daily grind of austerity - all of that would be for nothing.

Labour would wreck the recovery, the Conservatives would give us the wrong kind of recovery.

Only the Liberal Democrats can finish the job and finish it in a way that is fair.

– Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg


Clegg warns voters not to return to single-party rule

Nick Clegg addressing the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference at The Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow. Credit: PA

Nick Clegg will claim the worst possible outcome for the UK would be to abandon coalition politics and return to one party governments in his speech to the Lib Dem conference later today.

In his keynote speech to the party faithful in Glasgow, Mr Clegg will warn that the "absolute worst" outcome of the poll scheduled for 2015 would be outright victory for Labour or the Conservatives.

He will warn sacrifices made during the years of austerity would be "for nothing" if the country returned to single-party rule: "Labour would wreck the recovery, the Conservatives would give us the wrong kind of recovery. Only the Liberal Democrats can finish the a way that is fair."

Clegg 'chipper' about Lib Dem prospects

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg refused to be downcast in the face of dismal poll ratings and described himself as "chipper" about the party's future.

Mr Clegg told ITV News he knew "intuitively in my gut" the Lib Dems "will do better than many of our critics pretend we will".

I think we are now so well-placed to say to the British people come May 2015, if you want a party which anchors the Government in the liberal centre ground, that is fair on society but does the right things to get the economy going, we are your only real option.

I am actually chipper and proud of the fact that we've done that because it's been a pretty bruising journey for Liberal Democrats to go from perpetual opposition into the tough choices of government and we have lost short-term popularity.

– Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Clegg 'prepared to play my part' in Lab/Lib coalition

Nick Clegg has not ruled out a coalition with Labour after the 2015 general election but refused to be drawn into a debate on Ed Miliband's leadership.

Speaking to the BBC, the Deputy Prime Minister explained:

If the British people say that the most legitimate outcome of the next general election would be a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition, of course I would be prepared to play my part in that.

– Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

However, he politely opted out of giving his thoughts on what Mr Miliband would be like as a Prime Minister:

I don't know, it hasn't happened yet. I don't think you should judge people until they've been able to prove themselves.

– Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

Mr Clegg denied that he was assuming he had the right to stay Deputy Prime Minister "forever and a day", but rejected suggestions that his removal as leader might be a price the Lib Dems would have to pay to go into coalition with Labour.

Clegg dismisses rogue Cable comments

Vince Cable (left) and Nick Clegg at a question and answer session with Young Ambassadors at the Prince's Trust in Birmingham, in 2010. Credit: PA

Nick Clegg refused to respond to questions about Vince Cable's derogatory comments about his Conservative coalition partners and told ITV News the Lib Dems were "not the thought police".

The Deputy Prime Minister said fellow Lib Dems were entitled to express an opinion and it was not his job to "start doctoring people's adjectives and adverbs".

Mr Clegg declined to criticise the business secretary's assault on his Tory coalition partners as "callous" and "nasty", and said: "We are not the thought police, this is the Liberal Democrats. People can use the words they want. I'm not going to start doctoring people's adjectives and adverbs."

Earlier, when speaking to Channel 4 News, Mr Clegg had praised Mr Cable's ability as a minister dubbing him "one of the very best secretaries of state in our government".

He also suggested Mr Cable was entering into a serious debate with his anti-Tory comments and not stirring up trouble for the sake of it: "I don't think it's fair on Vince to read into his comments some mischievous intent."


Clegg admits Lib Dems will not win 2015 election

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg will remain in charge of the party until at least 2015, he has said. Credit: PA

Nick Clegg has admitted the Lib Dems have no chance of winning the 2015 general election outright, but would be willing to work in a coalition with either Labour or the Conservatives, if neither party wins outright.

The Lib Dem leader continued his support for coalitions over single party governments and argued another joint venture would be in the best interests of the UK.

He also dismissed talk of stepping down as Lib Dem leader before 2105 and described himself as "chipper" about his party's prospects, despite polls putting them at 10% or below of public support.

The deputy prime minister slapped down Business Secretary Vince Cable for suggesting that the coalition Government might collapse before its five-year term is over, declaring: "It won't happen. We will see this through."

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