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Clegg: Ukip is 'ploughing on with politics of blame'

Nick Clegg has questioned Ukip's political intentions, saying that their leader Nigel Farage was "ploughing on with a politics of blame."

Speaking on LBC Radio's 'Call Clegg' programme, the deputy Prime Minister said that he felt Ukip's proposals would "only make feelings of insecurity worse."

Clegg is facing questions from the general public for the first time since the Liberal Democrats suffered a mauling in recent elections.

More: Vince Cable denies 'all knowledge' of Oakeshott leadership poll

Nick Clegg faces further leadership questions

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/

Nick Clegg will face further questions over his leadership of the Liberal Democrat despite facing down a failed coup from within his party earlier this week.

Clegg faces a potentially tricky situation in dealing with senior colleague Vince Cable, with the Business Secretary being forced to deny involvement in polls Lord Oakeshott ran which indicated the party's general election performance would improve were Mr Clegg to resign.

The Deputy Prime Minister will also face questions from the public for the first time since last weeks' poor election results on his weekly radio phone-in on LBC Radio.

More: Vince Cable denies 'all knowledge' of Oakeshott leadership poll

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Lib Dem minister: Vince Cable 'doing what he should do'

Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has defended Vince Cable.

She told BBC Two's Newsnight:

All I can say is Vince has made a categorical statement, I'm comfortable with that.

He said that basically (Lord Oakeshott's) behaviour has been inexcusable.

As far as I'm concerned he's doing what he should do, which is he's in China working for the British economy and state.

Asked whether Dr Cable knew that Lord Oakeshott's polls were asking about the Business Secretary's suitability as a potential Lib Dem leader, Lady Kramer said:

I haven't talked to Vince.

Knowing Vince I very much doubt it because you just look at the statements that Vince made before he left for China, he was very supportive of Nick Clegg, he understands what our job is for the next year, he's made those same kind of statements in China.

Vince Cable aware of party polls for general election

Business Secretary Vince Cable said he had "absolutely no knowledge" of the polls conducted by Lord Oakeshott on the future of Vince Cable as Liberal Democrat party leader.

Read: Vince Cable had 'absolutely no knowledge of leadership poll'

In his resignation statement, Lord Oakeshott said Vince Cable was aware of the results of the polls, and aware he was carrying them out.

Read: Lord Oakeshott resigns from Liberal Democrats 'with a heavy heart'

Vince Cable said he was aware of some polls, intended for the purposes of planning for next year's general election, but not any of the polls in Inverness or Sheffield Hallam, concerning Nick Clegg's tenure. Speaking from China he said he regretted the resignation of his friend.

Cable: 'Absolutely no knowledge' of leadership poll

Dr Vince Cable, speaking from China, where he is on a trade tour. Credit: ITN

Business Secretary Vince Cable said Lord Oakeshott did tell him about various polls he was conducting, but denied he had any involvement in the poll leaked to the Guardian on the future of Nick Clegg's leadership of the Liberal Democrats. He said:

"Parties conduct polls all the time at national level. In this particular case, Lord Oakeshott asked my election campaign manager if we wanted a poll in my local constituency, we said yes. It was a private poll done for election planning, absolutely nothing to do with national leadership.

"I was aware he was conducting other polls around the country. [...] In one case, we sat down and discussed the details, but I had absolutely no knowledge, and was certainly not involved in any commissioning of surveys done in Sheffield Hallam."

Read: Lord Oakeshott resigns 'with a heavy heart'

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Liberal Democrat infighting 'far from over'

by - Political Correspondent
Videograb image taken dated 26/6/2013 of Lord Oakeshott. Credit: PA Images

There's no doubt Lord Oakeshott means it when he says he resigned from the Lib Dems with a "heavy heart".

But his parting statement is only likely to add to the party's turmoil. In it, he warns that the Liberal Democrats are "heading for disaster" if they keep Nick Clegg as leader - a final attempt to undermine the deputy Prime Minister.

And he goes on to suggest he told the Business Secretary Vince Cable about the damaging polls he commissioned and leaked to the Guardian.

It leaves the two men at the top of the party with more questions to answer.

One senior source told me Lord Oakeshott is now "a busted flush" but it's clear the Liberal Democrat infighting following the party's disastrous showing in the local and European elections is far from over.

Read Lord Oakeshott's resignation statement in full here

Oakeshott: 'Please force leadership election to avoid disaster'

Lord Oakeshott has used his 'final' tweet to urge Liberal Democrat party members to force a leadership election to avoid "disaster" at the 2015 General Election.

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I've resigned with a heavy heart from Lib Dems & left Lords. Pls force leadership election to avoid disaster @ge2015. http://t.co/pkZgCBZSuh

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That was my last Tweet. Thanks so much to my 5467 loyal followers. I will stay on Twitter for a few days to read any replies or messages.

More: Lib Dems: 'Now is the time to get on with government'

Lib Dems: 'Now is the time to get on with government'

The Liberal Democrat Party have issued the following statement in the wake of Lord Oakeshott's resignation, calling his decision "understandable in the circumstances."

This is Lord Oakeshott's decision and is understandable in the circumstances.These have been a difficult few days after a disappointing set of election results.But now is the time to get on with the business of Government and getting our message out about what the Liberal Democrats are delivering in Government to build a stronger economy and a fairer society - cutting income tax, bringing down the deficit, creating jobs and making sure everyone benefits from our economic recovery.

More: Lord Oakeshott resigns 'with a heavy heart'

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