Nick Clegg has dismissed suggestions that he did not turn up to the Autumn Statement because he wanted to distance himself from George Osborne's policies.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls had said Mr Clegg had been absent because he hoped "people forget the fact that he voted for the VAT rise and the 'bedroom tax'."
But Mr Clegg roundly rejected the claim, telling listeners on his LBC radio phone-in.
I've been doing autumn statements and budgets for five years now and sitting dutifully there. And, by the way, of course I have worked on this meticulously for weeks.
Everything in that Autumn Statement is in there because we have agreed it and I fully support it. But, then I had a choice - did I listen to Ed Balls in the House of Commons or did I go out and talk to normal people?"
The Chancellor must tell voters whether what he's proposing is really a re-think of the role of the state.
For all the criticism of spending reductions under the Coalition, there are actually more cuts to come after 2015.
Could what seems like a lifeline for buyers - the overhaul of the unpopular stamp duty - actually make it harder to land a property?