Nick Clegg rejects 'bigot' claim

Nick Clegg has denied planning to use the word 'bigot' after a speech on gay marriage was given a rapid re-write. An initial draft which was sent to the media contained the word, but it disappeared in an updated version.

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Tory backbencher: 'Clegg must apologise or resign'

Tory backbencher Peter Bone said Mr Clegg had insulted "millions of people with deep convictions of religion and conscience".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/PA Archive

He insisted the Lib Dem leader had to "apologise profusely" or resign.

"I don't see how that could have got published without it being the view of the Deputy Prime Minister," he said.

"He has got to rapidly get out there on the airwaves apologising," Mr Bone said.

"It is clear what he thinks. There is no way that the Deputy Prime Minister of our country can be associated with that language."

Lord Carey: 'Clegg comments were offensive'

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said the mooted remarks by Nick Clegg were "very offensive".

"If he persists in taking that view I and others would be very offended," he told the BBC.

"To be called a bigot is a very offensive statement and I would ask him to recall it... because there are issues here that demand very serious debate."


Nick Clegg sparks new row over gay marriage plan

These intolerant and intemperate remarks by Nick Clegg show that there is nothing liberal about him whatsoever.

The majority of people in this country oppose the redefinition of marriage, according to polling, and his comments effectively criticise millions of ordinary men and women.

Nick Clegg should confine himself to fixing the broken economy, which he was elected to do, rather than attacking those people who back the centuries-old definition of marriage.

– A spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage

Government consulting on legalising same-sex marriages

The coalition's pledge to introduce same-sex civil marriage by 2015 has been criticised by religious groups and provoked deep unease in Conservative ranks.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Credit: PA Archive

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said there had been 228,000 responses to the consultation since it was launched in June, and the government would set out its next move by the end of the year.

David Cameron has signalled that MPs will be given a free vote on the issue, but stressed his personal commitment.


Nick Clegg 'would never use' the term 'bigot'

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg responded tonight after withdrawing comments where opponents of equal marriage were branded as "bigots".

I am a little bit surprised to see cameras assembled outside the gates, for the slightly obscure surprising reason that they expect me to use a word about opponents of gay marriage that I had no intention of using, would never use. It is not the kind of word that I would use. But there you go. That is one way of getting attention for a discreet little reception like this. But on a serious point, while I stridently disagree with those who would block moves towards equal marriage, I never seek to engage in debate in insulting terms.

– Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister

Nick Clegg drops 'bigots' attack in equal marriage speech

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was embarrassed today after being forced to withdraw comments in which he branded opponents of equal marriage as "bigots". The first extracts released early by his office said:

Continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots a stick to beat us with, as they demand we “postpone” the equalities agenda in order to deal with “the things people really care about."

But it was quickly re-written to:

Continued trouble in the economy leads some people to demand we “postpone” the equalities agenda in order to deal with “the things people really care about."

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