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Clegg: Chilcot report in danger of being 'sexed down'

The public will assume the Chilcot report is being "sexed down" after its publication was delayed until after the general election, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

Nick Clegg has criticised the latest delay in publishing the Chilcot inquiry. Credit: PA Wire

In a letter to inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot, the Liberal Democrat leader said it was "incomprehensible" that the report may not be published for further months.

He urged Sir John to set out "a much clearer and more defined timetable" for the report's publication.

"If the findings are not published with a sense of immediacy, there is a real danger the public will assume the report is being 'sexed down' by individuals rebutting criticisms put to them by the Inquiry, whether that is the case or not," Mr Clegg said.

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Watch live: Cameron faces TV debate questions at PMQs

After Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage told David Cameron they are prepared to go ahead with TV debates ahead of the election - with or without him, he will be expecting a tough time at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).

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Miliband promises recovery reaching the 'kitchen table'

Ed Miliband has promised an economic recovery that reaches people's "kitchen table" if he becomes Prime Minister in May.

The Labour leader said in his New Year message, "This is the season for new beginnings and hopes for the future.".

"We have it within our grasp not just to see out the old year but to see out the old ways of running the country," he continued. "Can we do it? Of course we can."

But Tony Blair has cast doubt on whether Labour can win the election fighting on Miliband's "traditional left-wing" platform.

Clegg sets stage for election battle in New Year message

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has set the stage for a bitter General Election battle next year, warning that "a lot of mud will be thrown" in the run-up to polling day.

The Liberal Democrat leader urged voters in his New Year message to give his party the chance of a second term in Government, rejecting the politics of "grievance, fear and blame" offered by their rivals.

Clegg said 2015 should be a "year for optimism" but that the two main parties presented the electorate with a "pretty grim choice".

"This year, a lot of mud will be thrown. A lot of over the top claims will be made, a lot of accusations will be hurled around the place. Ignore them," he added.

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Highlights of Nick Clegg's appearance on Leaders Live

Nick Clegg is the fourth political party leader to answer young voters' questions as part of Leaders Live - the country's first series of Q&As streamed on YouTube.

The Liberal Democrat leader spoke about minimum wages, zero-hours contracts, tuition fees, mental health and immigration among other issues.

Here are some highlights from the live Q&A:

Clegg calls for Blair to face questions over CIA report

Nick Clegg has called for Tony Blair and Jack Straw to give evidence about the UK's role in a brutal CIA-led interrogation and torture programme that was revealed last week..

The Deputy Prime Minister said those in charge at the time that CIA torture took place must answer questions about any British involvement and anyone found to have been complicit in torture must face the "full rule of the law."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg says Tony Blair and Jack Straw must face questions over CIA torture Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

He said: "The next pragmatic step is to let the police get on with their work as soon as possible but also ... to go, as Malcolm Rifkind has said, in pursuit of the truth without any fear or favour, including calling as witnesses, as individuals who need to be further questioned, politicians who were in charge ... of the government at the time."

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