The Lib Dems are having a disastrous month.
They got annihilated in last week’s elections, and Lord Oakeshott quit the Lib Dems yesterday warning the party is “heading for disaster” under Nick Clegg.
Yet, the Deputy Prime Minister didn’t chicken out of appearing at LBC Radio’s Call Clegg programme today.
Clegg faced a volley of brutal questions including “did you cry when the results came in?”
A caller also remarked that Clegg reminded her of “downtown Tokyo after it’s been destroyed by Nigel Farage’s Godzilla.” Clegg response? A sheepish giggle.
Take a look at the highlights of the programme:
Clegg on Vince Cable and the poll about Clegg’s leadership
Clegg: “Mr Cable knew about the poll in his own constituency. It is quite normal that Vince might get some polling done in his local constituency. He was not aware of polls elsewhere. People may suggest plots and conspiracies – I don’t believe that for a second. Vince is an exceptional politician.
“He [Cable] supports me, we speak day in day out. One of the things that can come out of all of this is an appreciation that the Lib Dems are the party of the big ideas. We are an impressive team.”
“Vince and I are going to keep working together successfully.”
Caller: Will Clegg support his call for Nigel Farage to be given a knighthood?
Clegg: “I’m not going to declare him Sir Nigel! Far from listening, Mr Farage is ploughing on with ‘politics of blame’. At the end of the day, politicians must listen in a democracy – but we also have to lead and be clear and honest about the solutions.
“I absolutely stand by the fact that doing the debate with Nigel Farage was right.”
Clegg on voter intimidation in Tower Hamlets
Clegg: “I share your anger at the allegations of voter intimidation in Tower Hamlets. If they turn out to be of a criminal nature, the police need to be called in. This is a democracy. You never push people about, when democracy is about people pushing politicians about.”
Caller: Is it arrogant or stupid for politicians to stick with the same policies?
Clegg: “The recent elections showed a lot of anger at politics, and we are asking what is the best solution to ease that frustration. My party is soul searching at the moment, because these were very significant unusual elections. But I remain firm as ever that, seductive though Ukip is, I genuinely think that what they propose would only make those feelings of anger and insecurity worse. They would make us poorer.”
Clegg on the “Westminster bubble”:
Clegg: “I do try and get out and about, and make myself accessible. I am devoted to my work as a constituency MP. The last thing you should do when you’re under pressure from critics is turn in on yourself. We have to acknowledge our election results were very bad, and we have to learn from that.”
Towards the end of the show, Ferrari offered a bacon Sandwich to Clegg. For those of you who don’t know, Labour leader Miliband became the butt of jokes last week for posing while eating a bacon sandwich. Clegg took a bite of the sandwich and Ferrari said, “that’s how to eat a bacon sandwich.”
.@Nick_Clegg shows @Ed_Miliband how to master eating a bacon sandwich live on @LBC’s #CallClegg: pic.twitter.com/kgknOStpS0
— PoliticsHome (@politicshome) May 29, 2014
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