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Labour and Tories 'missing in action' on EU says Clegg

Nick Clegg is expected to use his speech to the Welsh Liberal Democrats' conference in Newport to attack Labour and the Conservatives as 'missing in action' in the campaign to defend Britain's membership of the European Union. He'll expected to say:

... remaining in Europe is the only way to protect three million British jobs. Because working with our neighbours is how we keep Britain strong – ensuring we can do all of the things we cannot do alone: promoting trade, tackling climate change, fighting cross-border crime. Because in the modern world there is safety in numbers. Because we always stand tall in the world when we stand tall in our own backyard.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

And he'll accuse the other two UK parties of 'failing to take a stand' on Europe in the face of 'myths and untruths' from UKIP.

Where are the supposedly pro-European Labour party? Or the supposedly moderate Conservative leadership? The country is finally having it out about the single biggest issue facing our future – and where are they?

Absent. Hiding. Missing in action. Paralysed by their own internal divisions. Too scared to speak up for the national interest because it’ll cause them too great a political headache.

It’s party-before-country from leaders who sort of half say they’re IN, but who don’t have the guts to actually come out.

Say what you like about the Liberal Democrats – and people do – but at least we have the courage of our convictions. At least we are willing to stand up and be heard, even when our views are less popular but we believe they are right.

So we will fill the void left by our opponents – make no mistake. Between now and May 22nd we will continue to fight for staying in Europe in order to protect the Britain we love.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

Clegg: Farage debates are 'just the start'

Following his high-profile TV dust-up with Nigel Farage over Europe, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has vowed to step up his campaign for Britain to stay in the EU.

Nick Clegg has vowed to step up his campaign for Britain to stay in the EU. Credit: PA

In a speech to the Welsh Lib Dem conference today, Mr Clegg is expected to accuse David Cameron and Ed Miliband of putting "party before country" by ducking out of the EU debate, describing them as "absent, hiding, missing in action".

Mr Clegg will acknowledge that he did not defeat Mr Farage's eurosceptic arguments in their TV clashes, but will insist that the Farage debates were "just the start - a curtain-raiser to a campaign that will be the most passionate defence of British interests in Europe for generations".

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Lib Dem president: Clegg backs 'bedroom tax' change

The Liberal Democrats wants to see the so-called 'bedroom tax' changed so that people do not face moving out of their home with nowhere to go, the party's president has told ITV News.

Current policy means social housing tenants who have a spare room face having their housing benefit reduced.

Speaking to Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship, Tim Farron said Nick Clegg shared "the view that this is something that we want to see changed".

Read: 'Bedroom tax' causing disabled 'severe hardship and distress'

Clegg: 'Hardening consensus' on greater devolution

Nick Clegg is expected to say later:

Just as it is right that we must explain the risks and consequences of Scotland voting to leave the union, we must also set out the opportunities of voting to stay.

The prospect of remaining in the UK must be just as thrilling as the drama of leaving it.

Rejecting independence will not be choosing the status quo. It must, I believe, be a giant leap towards our long-held liberal vision: home rule.

The debate over Scotland's future has meant the opportunity to deliver it has never been greater.

There is now an ever-hardening consensus between the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives over greater devolution to Scotland.

The comments come one week after Scottish Labour held its conference with a focus on plans for greater devolution.

Clegg to hint at more devolution if Scotland votes no

Nick Clegg will speak in Aberdeen today. Credit: PA.

Unionist parties are coming closer to broad agreement on more devolution for Scotland as an alternative to independence, according to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Nick Clegg is expected to claim there is an "ever hardening consensus" between Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives, when he addresses his party conference in Aberdeen today.

The referendum on September 18 is about capturing imaginations, he will tell the Scottish Lib Dem conference.

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Clegg happy to ignore latest 'Tory soap opera'

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has dismissed David Cameron's appeal for Boris Johnson to become an MP again as the latest storyline in a "Conservative Party soap opera" that is "very difficult to follow".

Mr Cameron's comments have refueled speculation that Mr Johnson may bid for a return to Parliament at the General Election next year.

The Liberal Democrat leader said while his fellow Coalition leaders and the Mayor of London spent time sorting out "who's doing what in the Conservative Party" he would carry on "concentrating on completing the economic recovery as fairly as possible".

Read: Cameron wants Boris 'on his team' for election

Clegg attacks 'backwards politics' of Eurosceptic right

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told delegates at his Party's conference today that he loved Britain and wanted it to stay in the European Union.

In his keynote speech, the Deputy Prime Minister also attacked Ukip, calling them the "acceptable face" of backward-facing politics.

ITV News political correspondent Romilly Weeks was at the conference in York:

Nick Clegg to stay Lib Dem leader 'until at least 2020'

Nick Clegg delivers a speech to his party's spring conference in York today. Credit: PA

Nick Clegg intends to remain as Liberal Democrat leader until at least 2020 - whether or not the party is in power - his office said today as speculation about the Deputy Prime Minister's future overshadowed his spring conference speech.

The Deputy Prime Minister was forced to respond to speculation about his future following reports that senior MPs were positioning themselves as possible successors.

"Nick Clegg intends to be the leader of the Liberal Democrats today, tomorrow, into the 2015 election and through the whole of the next parliament," a spokesman said.

"He intends to be leader of the Liberal Democrats whether or not we are in government."

Lib Dem MP mocks Ukip in Nigel Farage mask

A Liberal Democrat MP wore a Nigel Farage mask at the party's conference as she mocked the Ukip leader's penchant for beer.

Just before Nick Clegg's appearance, Lorely Burt also mocked a former-Ukip councillor's claim that this winter's floods had been brought on by the introduction of gay marriage.

Read: Clegg aims fire at Ukip in conference address

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