Liberal Democrat party conference

Hundreds are expected at the Sage on Tyneside today as Liberal Democrat start their spring conference.

Latest ITV News reports

Clegg rallies the party faithful

Nick Clegg told members that while the controversial NHS Bill was not a Lib Dem Bill it was better because of the Lib Dems.

He delivered this speech just two hours after activists voted against the leadership line on the NHS reforms.

The Deputy Prime Minister also claimed that this months budget would help families during hard economic times, and emphasised the importance of green jobs, something which won the approval of North East MEP Fiona Hall .

Defeat for Lib Dem leadership

Party members defied Nick Clegg and his ministerial colleagues by backing a 'rebel' amendment on the planned NHS changes.

In a close vote the party has now instructed Lib Dem peers not to back the Bill tomorrow in the Lords. Party President and Cumbrian MP Tim Farron was frank in his assessment.

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Nick Clegg visits Sunderland

The Deputy Prime Minister is visiting a business in Sunderland this afternoon which plans to create more than three hundred jobs in the region. Nick Clegg will meet staff and apprentices at car parts manufacturer, Unipres UK.

The company has secured more than forty million pounds of private sector and Government investment through the Regional Growth Fund.

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