Vince Cable disagreed with Jeremy Paxman's assertion that the pledge not to raise tuition fees was an election stunt.
It was not a stunt ... it was part of genuinely felt wish to assist the student population. We weren't able to follow through with it, but it was deeper than a stunt.
The Business Secretary Vince Cable has said that he too apologises for the pledge made by his party, the Liberal Democrats, that it would not raise tuition fees. He told the BBC's Newsnight programme that it was a "collective" decision.
He also said there was a distinction between the pledge, and the policy that the party has now adopted, which he said is correct.
The Liberal Democrats should either back or sack their leader Nick Clegg at next week's party conference in Brighton, one of his former advisers has said.
Mr Reeves, who served as director of strategy, said the Deputy Prime Minister could not avoid the question about his future as the party's leader. But the 43-year-old warned the Lib Dems that if they decide to back the Deputy Prime Minister, they must stick with him.
Writing in the New Statesman, Mr Reeves, who has since left the UK to live in the United States with his family, said: "The mutterings have been growing louder for months, certainly since another bruising round of local election results in the spring.
"The question of Clegg's leadership has to be addressed. Indeed, given the party's current position, it would be irresponsible not to do so.
"It is some comfort that David Cameron is facing similar squalls in his own party: at least now the necessary pain of coalition is being shared.
"Cards on the table: I think the party must stick with Clegg, and that Clegg must stick with both liberalism and coalition. Once the party caravan packs up on 26 September and heads inland after conference, the muttering has to stop. If the party is not to sack Nick Clegg then it must back him."
Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students, said apologising for making the pledge to abolish tuition fees, instead of breaking the promise was an "absolute disgrace" and made his words "empty and hollow."
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has apologised for promising to abolish tuition fees during the 2010 election campaign.Read the full story ›
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has apologised for promising to get rid of tuition fees for university students. He made the pledge at Cambridge University, during the 2010 election campaign.
In 2010 Nick Clegg said his Liberal Democrat party was committed to removing tuition fees. He said at the time:
"We want to see tuition fees removed, I wish we could do it overnight, it used to be our plan to do it overnight now, we are going to have to do it over a six year period, because of course money is tight... it is fair, it is right, I don't think young people should be saddles with so much debt"
This Clegg apology on tuition fees is certainly abject. I wonder what people will make of it. It should be said that Mr Clegg is not apologizing for the policy, just for making a policy he knew he might not be able to keep.
In other words, he is saying "Oh, I wish we'd left tuition fees as they were."
Echoes of Clegg mania in the address: straight to camera, apparently speaking from the heart, but the trouble is we have moved on a bit since then.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has apologised for breaking his party's election promises once in Government and has defended the decision to "leave the comfort of opposition" and forge a coalition government with the Conservative Party.
When we're wrong, we hold our hands up. But when we're right we hold our heads up too. We were right to leave the comfort of opposition to face the realities of Government and I know we are fighting for the right things.
Rebuilding our economy to make it strong, changing the tax system to make it fair, defending the vulnerable in these tough times. That's what my party believes in, that's what I believe in. And if we've lost your trust that's how I hope we can start to win it back"
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg has pledged to learn from his "mistakes" and not make an election pledge he cannot keep. In a televised address due to be screened at the party conference starting this Saturday the deputy Prime Minister said:
"When you've made a mistake you should apologise but more importantly, you've got to learn from your mistakes and that's what we will do. I will never again make a pledge unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it."