Party members clash with Clegg

Nick Clegg was engaged in bad-tempered clashes with Liberal Democrat activists over so-called secret courts legislation and benefits changes tonight.

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Clegg clashes with Lib Dem members at conference

Nick Clegg was involved in a bad-tempered clash with Liberal Democrat activists over so-called secret courts legislation and benefits changes tonight.

The Deputy Prime Minister was accused of abandoning the party's values during a question and answer session.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg holds a Q&A session. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Activists challenged Mr Clegg over the Justice and Security Bill, which would allow courts to sit in secret in some civil cases, with one Lib Dem member questioning why he had "abandoned the high ground" by engaging with the proposals.

Another said: "How can we call ourselves a Liberal Democratic party any more if we vote for this legislation?"

However, the party leader said the intelligence services were currently unable to defend themselves in some civil court cases because they could not disclose sensitive material. He also stressed that many changes had already been made to the original proposals.

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