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Call Clegg 29th May

May 30, 2014 10:36 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg takes your questions live on LBC for this week's Call Clegg.

Watch the latest episode here.

Transcript

This is LBC Call Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg takes your calls with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. 0845 6060973 tweet at lbc973 text 84850. Leading Britain's conversation, this is "Call Clegg" on LBC.

NC: Its 9 o'clock, on Thursday 29 May, you're listening to Call Clegg with me Nick Clegg here on LBC. I am taking your questions for the next half an hour or so. So if you want to get involved then call on 0845 6060973 or email as ever at nickclegg@lbc.co.uk and of course you can watch on the website, lbc.co.uk. So let's go straight to the first caller and the first caller is Mike, Mike in Cheshunt. Hello Mike.

M: Good morning Mr Clegg.

NC: Morning Mike.

M: Now the electorate has sent a very, very clear messages to politicians. Not just you but to the Tories and the Labour party. Now if its sticking with the same policies isn't it either arrogant or perhaps stupid or maybe even both?

NC: Well Mike, I mean you're quite clear there was a big vote last week in the European elections for UKIP and as you know across Europe there was quite a sharp turn to the right on the far right. And it's just, it's obvious that a lot of people are expressing concerns about immigration, a lot of people were expressing a lot of anger and frustration at conventional politics, at the economic hardship that many, many people have had to suffer over the last years. And of course you're right Mike that everybody needs to ask themselves are ... what are the best possible solutions to that incredibly strong sense of frustration at the way things are. And of course, my party to put it mildly is going through a sort of phase of soul searching and asking lots of difficult questions about exactly what we should do as a party over the next year between now and the next general election. And other parties will no doubt do, well ask similar sorts of questions because these were very significant, unusual elections. But, and here's the big but, all I would say to Mike is, I remain as firmly of the view now as I did you many weeks ago, and indeed have done for a long time, that seductive though the message of UKIP and other parties like that across Europe are. Basically saying, you know everybody in governments a charlatan blame everything on foreigners and immigrants and so on. I really genuinely think that what they propose would only make those feelings of insecurity and anxiety and fearfulness and anger worse because they would make us poorer and more insecure. And so yes, we've got to listen of course, of course, that's what democracy is about. You are quite right about that Mike but I don't think we should lurch to solutions which actually would make the problems that people face worse rather than better.

NF: Mike?

M: No but of course it's fair to say isn't it...

NC: Yeah.

M: ...the politicians are there to represent the views of the people. But can I please make one suggestion?

NC: Mike can I make one suggestion. Yes they are of course but politicians are also there to say, you know, politicians to say this is what we believe in, this is what we think is the right thing for the future of the country. It's you the people decide whether you want to back us or sack us so to speak. But also to lead, to lead with a sense of values and vision about what the future is and not simply to say because UKIP has done well for instance in last week's elections that pulling up the drawbridge, doing what he says, you know turning the clock back will somehow make things better. When I just think... I just so strongly believe that it won't. You can't suddenly abandon your beliefs put it that way.

M: No well I understand that. But what the public do take exception to, is that politicians know best, politicians are right and you lot, we're not really interested in you until it comes up to election time. But may I please make a... I can suggest something for you where you will get a lot of support which I'm sure you'd appreciate especially in this difficult week. Will you ...

NC: I'm grateful Mike for the thought it's very generous of you.

M: Will you and Mr Cameron...

NC: Yeah.

M: ...please support my call for Nigel Farage to be given a knighthood for services to politics because he has one of the most unique qualities very rarely found in politicians. He actually listens and actually represents their views [unclear 00:04:52].

NC: Well Mike, I in fact am not going to declare that Nigel Farage is suddenly Sir Nigel. It's not actually of course in my gift to do so either. Look we've talked about so many times on this programme before and you will have perhaps the debates between me and Nigel Farage. Clearly he got the better of that one. But I actually think far from listening, actually what Nigel Farage is doing is just ploughing on with a kind of politics of blame, a politics of pessimism and grievance which at the end of the day would make the anger and the frustration that people feel which may be leading for some people to vote for Nigel Farage only worse. And the end of the day, at the end of the day Mike, you're right politicians in a democracy must listen. At the end of the day we are accountable, we stand or fall at the hands of the British people and so on. But we also have to have a... we also must lead, we must also be clear about what our values are and we must also be honest about what we think are the solutions to a lot of complex problems. And do you know what I sometimes wish we lived in this kind of sort of Nigel Farage world where every problem under the son can be solved in, at least in his world view, by one leap. He says that every single you know, from traffic jams to bad weather no doubt, everything can be solved by pulling out of the European Union. And do you know what it just... actually most people in their heart of hearts know it isn't as simple as that and I'm not going to pretend to people there is this single magic wand solution which lifts every problem off everyone's shoulders because it just ain't like that.

NF: That's what you think of Nigel Farage Deputy Prime Minister. This is briefly what he said of you.

"NF Clegg, Nick Clegg, to whom I'm personally, extremely grateful because challenging us to those debates really kicked off the whole European election campaign and allow us for the first time in 40 years to put the argument why this country would be better off outside a political union. But Clegg I think his position as a result of last night, I find it very difficult to believe that he will lead the Lib Dems into the next general election."

NF: That was of course Nigel Farage speaking on Monday. I saw you, I tell you something Deputy Prime Minister, I'll say to you. For you to honour this commitment today you certainly have cojones, if I'm pronouncing that, because others might have fallen ill or had other engagements or matters of state so credit to you for appearing. You didn't look a particularly happy soul on Monday, had you been crying?

NC: No of course not.

NF: Your eyes were red.

NC: Were they?

NF: Mm.

NC: Right.

NF: Lack of sleep?

NC: I'd been campaigning for weeks and weeks and weeks. The results had come in late, was I tired. I sometimes feel it's like having sort of the nation becomes your mum, you know because my mum often says, oh you look rather tired. And I say well do you think what I said was, made any sense? Oh I don't know but I just thought you look tired. So thanks everybody to take that maternal interest in my welfare.

NF: I hope mum was still voting?

NC: I've had a good few nights sleep since then, listen you know.

NF: How did you feel Mr Clegg as... was it as bad you expected because it was...?

NC: As I said I was absolutely and remain absolutely gutted, really gutted. Of course it is, it's horrid to speak to and to see people who I've known for years, I've campaigned alongside with for years, whether they're councillors, candidates, MEPs, good people, decent people, people who've campaigned their socks off, whose commitment and values are good ones being turfed on like that. Of course that's not and I've spent a lot of time speaking to a lot of these friends and colleagues. So of course that's... It's like anytime when you get a big setback like that in politics. There's all the politics and no doubt we'll come to that. But you know there is also a human side. And the human side is you've got people are good people who suddenly find themselves literally from moment to the next facing a different future.

NF: With hindsight being 20/20 should you have done those debates?

NC: Oh I would have, I absolutely believe that it was right to do those debates and I do them again. Clearly I, clearly it would be daft to pretend otherwise, I didn't win them, you know if that's the way people want to look at it. But I don't believe that you can duck an argument of this enormity and I would just really make a plea to people like David Cameron and Ed Miliband, you cannot stick your head in the sand. When the whole of Europe is lurching to the right and the far right like that, when the whole of Europe is kind of turning in on itself, someone has to stand up and say, look we cannot lose the kind of open minded, generous hearted values that I think, which has always made me so proud as you know of Britain. And I will continue and my party by the way and the Liberal Democrats will to make that case. But of course we haven't won that argument. I think in the long run by the way we will. But you've got to start somewhere and I'm very proud of the fact that we have done over the last few weeks.

NF: You're nothing if not an optimist. Lastly before we go to the next caller, what advice has David Cameron given you?

NF: He doesn't give me advice and I don't give him advice. Of course not.

NF: Has he spoken to you?

NC: We've been talking actually over the last couple of days about the Queen's speech which we'll be publishing next week. So we've been getting on with it as you'd expect.

NF: Not party matters?

NC: No of course not.

NF: Okay.

NC: It's not my business to advise him on what he does as leader of the conservative party and...

NF: And vice versa.

NC: And vice versa.

NF: We move on to other calls.

NC: Tracey in Newcastle, hello Tracey.

T: Hi Nick.

NC: Hello.

T: Just a few words of support first.

NC: Hooray.

NF: We've found one…we've found the Lib Dem voter, we have found the voter.

NC: Don't be so facetious Nick Ferrari, I think the vast majority of Liberal Democrats…

NF: I don't know where that came from.

NC: Sorry, go on, Tracey.

T: You've got the Lib Dems in the government and a huge number of policies through on tax reduction, people premium, apprenticeships, tax avoidance, and so on, and a record of action to be proud of I think. Whilst the media…

NC: Just stop there, Tracey, that's absolutely brilliant.

NF: This isn't Miriam doing her Geordie accent again is it? Miriam, sorry Tracey, move on to your question if you will.

NC: Let's do the [inaudible 00:10:39].

T: While the media were trying to whip up a frenzy over the online petition they missed the fact that some local Lib Dem Parties like Eastleigh, Sutton, Newcastle, Stockport, Cheltenham, did really well in the local elections.

NC: Yes, Sheffield Hallam, dare I say it.

NF: Can I move you…it's important we do all of this, Tracey, but what is your question of Mr Clegg, Tracey?

T: Well, I'd like to give some advice really, to get out of the Westminster bubble as much as possible, talk to voters and connect with people, and get Lib Dem achievements through to the electorate. The public hate internal bickering, the party needs to just get on with the job at hand.

NF: You've got a real supporter.

NC: Look, Tracey, I do try actually, I hope my critics would acknowledge this, I do try and get out and about, I try and make myself as accessible as I can, whether it's doing this every week, whether it's doing town hall meetings up and down the road, whether it's doing Twitter town halls. I'm devoted to my work as a constituency MP making myself available to my own constituents in South West Sheffield, so I agree with that. But, look, Tracey, someone who is dearly sympathetic of the Lib Dems whilst I completely agree with you, the last thing you should be doing when you're under pressure from our critics is making their job easier by turning in on yourselves.

Of course we've got to stand united and not turn inwards, but of course we also, which is slightly back to the first question from Mike in Cheshunt is of course you've also got to acknowledge that we got a very bad election result last week, and we have to learn the lessons from that. And, that's why, for instance, I've asked someone called James Girling, who is the elected head of the Liberal Democrat campaign and communications group committee to set up a group bringing together councillors, MEPs, ex-MEPs to do a short bit of work about what went right and what went wrong in the campaigns.

Because, as Tracey said, there were some areas, not that anyone is very keen to acknowledge that these days, from Hull to Sutton, from Sheffield Hallam to Bradford, where we actually did incredibly well, we were winning seats against labour. And, we need to learn what went right in the good places, and what went wrong in the places where it didn't go well. But, as Tracey said, we need to constantly, constantly explain to people, because no one is going to do it for us, I mean, if you just open any newspaper, any day of the week over the last four years, you will see the right and the left are united against the Liberal Democrats. Why? Because, the right and the left don't like the fact that we are in government, they don't like the fact that we are disrupting the duopoly of traditional two party politics, and they kind of want to turf us out.

So, of course they do that, and that means that since no one else is going to tell our side of the story we've got to do it. Including taking credit for the fact that if it wasn't for the Liberal Democrats, if it wasn't for our resilience, our unity, our grace under pressure as a party, we wouldn't now be seeing this economy actual growing faster than anywhere else in the developed world. And, final point to you, Tracey, I have also long felt that after these elections last week we could move the Liberal Democrats into a new phase and start talking about the future. So, I will, for instance, over the summer be talking much more about our manifesto ideas, so that we don't just talk about how we justify what we've done over the last four years, we also talk about our aspirations and hopes for the future, which are positive and optimistic.

NF: Tracey, as one of the many of hundreds and thousands of Lib Dems up and down the country, can I just ask you one last question if I may. What's your view of Vince Cable?

T: I've met Vince a few times, I think he's a good Minister.

NF: Could he be a good leader?

T: He's been a caretaker leader before hasn't he, I think he'd be okay, but he's said numerous times that he's not interested in being a leader.

NF: Right okay. Thank you very much, Tracey. While we're on the subject of Vince Cable, I wonder if I could just raise a question with you. It would appear that he had some form of prior knowledge of some polling that was done by the former Lib Dem peer, Lord Oakeshott, that he was at least aware of this questioning. Did he make you aware of it?

NC: I spoke to Vince yesterday, he's in China of course, and he explained to me what he said in public, which is that he knew about obviously the poll in his own constituency, he knew about the poll in Wells, I think it was.

NF: But, had he made you aware of that?

NC: No, but there was absolutely no…I wouldn't expect Vince to, I mean…

NF: If one of my staff was wandering around saying, is there a better breakfast host out there, you think I wouldn't want to know about it?

NC: No, I totally…honestly, people are quite predictably trying to whip this up into some great conspiracy. It isn't, it's quite normal for Vince to have, a, got some polling done in his own constituency, talked to Tessa Munt, who he's very close to, about what the poll said about her fortunes in her seat. But, he was absolutely not aware of polls elsewhere…

NF: It is normal to have a poll…

NC: No, he's made it very, very clear that he, for instance, didn't want any questions about leadership in the poll which he did have some control over in his own constituency. So, look, I totally…I fully expect that people will try and suggest that there are endless plots and experiences, I don't believe that for a second, you know, Vince is an outstanding Secretary of State for Business, he and I have worked together for years and years and years and we are going to continue to work together in harness as part of a really strong Lib Dem team in government.

NF: Okay, and when he's asked whether he supports you and he says, I won't answer ad hoc questions, what do you take from that?

NC: I didn't hear the interview, he supports me, he's said so, he will no doubt say so again. I don't need to follow interviews…

NF: You don't think this was leadership ambitions getting involved with Lord Oakeshott?

NC: I don't need to follow interviews for Vince, because Vince and I speak day in and day out, and have done for years. Do you know what, one of the things that maybe, maybe…here am I grasping for silver linings, but maybe one of the things that can come out of all of this, is actually an appreciation that, whilst the Liberal Democrats are the smaller party in government, we are actually the party with, I think, the bigger ideas. On the kind of things that Vince has been doing, apprenticeships, industrial strategies, what Steve Webb has been doing, revolutionising our pension systems, and what Chris Hume and Ed Davies have been doing revolutionising green energy. And, why I say that is because there is a really, really impressive team, of which I am privileged to be a leader.

NF: Alright, let's move on to other calls, we're going to Wales I think.

NC: Noah in Swansea, hello Noah how are you?

N: I'm fine thank you, hello everyone.

NC: Hello.

N: Well, before I begin, I have to say that you remind me of downtown Tokyo after it's been destroyed by Nigel Farage's Godzilla.

NC: Right.

NF: Well, you perhaps need to get out more.

NC: It doesn't feel like it right now, Noah, but…

NF: Move to your question, Noah, if you would.

N: Okay. Right, in light of the debacle at Tower Hamlets and the reports of voters being handed faulty ballet papers, when are you going to replace the Electoral Commission with something with a little bit more teeth? And, when are you going to stand up to Lutfur Rahman and his Tower Hamlets first mob?

NF: Just to remind some listeners. A senior advisor to Lutfur Rahman, the controversial and believed extremist link mayor of Tower Hamlets, one of his paid advisors Kazim Zeidi has said that if the electoral commission tries to go in and see what might have gone in Tower Hamlets, there could be violence on the streets. Deputy Prime Minister.

NC: I think that is outrageous. And, whilst I don't share, Noah, your views of Godzilla Farage and Tokyo, I totally share your anger about what is alleged to have happened. And, far from wanting to replace the electoral commission I want the electoral commission to do what, to be fair to them, they've said they're going to do. Which is they're going to look into these allegations of very serious…if those allegations turn out to be true, incredibly serious allegations of intimidation. And, if those allegations do turn out to be of a criminal nature where people are being intimidated from allowing the democratic process to run its course, then of course the police need to be called in. I find the whole Tower Hamlets first movement and the pronouncements of Lutfur Rahman just…the kind of arrogance of it that somehow they appear to think that they can swagger about in Tower Hamlets and do what they like. This is a democracy, this is a mature democracy…

NF: As you have learnt Mr Clegg.

NC: Yes, indeed. And, you know, you never try and even suggest that somehow you have a right to push people about, when democracy is all about people pushing politicians about, not the other way round. So, look, let the electoral commission do what they've said, let them look into this, and we've got to bring the police in if those allegations turn out to be of a criminal nature. But, no I don't think, in answer to your precise question, I don't think scrapping the electoral commission, who have to do the legwork of looking into what happened, would be the right response right now.

NF: Noah, thank you, let's move to another call.

NC: Ange in Leeds, hello Ange.

A: Hi there, good morning.

NC: Hello.

A: Nick, I saw your piece in Cosmo regarding ending FGM [inaudible 00:19:47] and that's the reason I'm calling. I started a campaign for a lady called [inaudible 00:19:53] a few weeks ago, and she is facing deportation to Nigeria. We don't need to talk about her personal case as such. What we've done is we'd applied for judicial review process which is underway, yet she was detained by the Home Office yesterday, and they plan to deport her today. Now, Home Office guidelines state that they need to give the legal representatives 72 hours. They didn't do that, and they didn't even call the solicitor. As it stands this lady has a two year old and a four year old who are at a detention centre in Heathrow, not even at Cedars, the supposedly child friendly centre. And, it just seems to me that the Home Office, throughout this whole thing, have not been following their processes, and at the end of the day it concerns two little girls. So, I want to know what you can do.

NC: Ange, you started your question referring to the horrific practice of female genital mutilation, what's the relationship between that and the case?

A: Well, your stated commitment, and this government's stated commitment is to end FGM in a generation, we have a chance to protect these two girls.

NC: Have they been subject to…

A: They are at a very likely risk if they're returned to Nigeria, the mother herself has been cut.

NC: The mother has been cut, Ange, well two separate things. First, obviously I can't, as you anticipate yourself, I can't pronounce, just having heard about this case like that, but what I will do is I will take your details and make sure that the case is brought to the attention of the Home Office in the right way so that they can take the right decisions. Because, as you say, quite rightly, there are clear rules which everybody has to abide by when deportations take place. And, you also refer, quite rightly, to something that I insisted on and am very proud of the fact that we've delivered in government, was we ended the horrific practice under the last government of basically locking up innocent children for immigration purposes. And, as you quite rightly pointed out, we created this new centre, Cedars, which finally gets rid of the practice of locking children up behind bars, which I still just am dismayed that the Labour party, a progressive party, locked up hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of innocent small children when they had committed no wrong doing whatsoever, with terrible physical and mental effects.

On female genital mutilation, Ange, I know that's not your question and you're asking about this specific case, I will take your details, but it's worth, if I can, just saying that this is a practice mutilating, cutting women that's been going on for 4,000 years. And, for a long time, I think, people thought, oh you know, because of cultural sensitivities we can't talk out about it. I think it's a really good step in the right direction that people are now talking about this and saying, you know what, no cultural sensitivity can excuse this kind of mutilation and cutting of girls who are terrified, and have terrible consequences for the rest of their lives when they are often held down and cut in the way that happens to far too many. And, I particular want to pay tribute to Lynn Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat Minister who has really led the charge on this.

But, the point I would make, Ange, is you I think refer to the fact that this still happens on a large scale in parts of Africa. Do you know what is perhaps really shocking, more shocking than many other things around this, is that it is still happening to thousands of girls here in Britain today. The estimate, which might be an underestimate, 20,000 are being cut in Britain, or who are British citizens. And, that's why I think we need to go further than we have done so far, and I certainly commit as a Liberal Democrat to making sure that it is a requirement in every school, in areas where there is prevalence of female genital mutilation for there to be information sessions, and discussion in schools with the young girls, with all of the pupils, and with all of their families, so that we can really bear down on this. We've got to do more, this has been illegal since 2003 and yet it is still affecting hundreds and hundreds of girls right here in our country.

NF: Can I just put in an email question, if I may, this is from Anthony in Leicester: 'Nick Clegg, you're a big fan of foreign aid. Should we really be sending money to a country where they're happy to stone to death a pregnant woman?' Now, I think what Anthony's talking…

NC: This is Pakistan.

NF: Pakistan and [inaudible 00:24:34] the story of the woman. It is fair to say you do support foreign aid. Is there an argument that if brutal killings like that are allowed to go on we're not going to send you cash?

NC: It's a huge dilemma this, it is what happens when you're giving aid and assistance to a country and things which appal us, which appal our sense of decency and human civil rights happen. And, of course, we do have to cut off aid sometimes, for instance, we cut off all budgetary aid to Uganda, because of concern about corruption and so on. But, you can't…I don't think in the response, in the case of the suffering, the horrendous suffering of a woman, I don't think the right response, actually, morally or otherwise, is to turn your backs on other vulnerable people in that country. And, I think what we need to do is be very tough with governments, where governments basically don't live up to the standards we expect of them, but not turn our backs on the people, and that's why we work…

NF: So, how will you be tough towards the Pakistan government?

NC: Oh, look, we now subject…

NF: A thousand so called 'honour killings,' what a ridiculous expression, but up to a thousand a year in this country. In this country and Pakistan, it's unbelievable.

NC: And, we just talked about female genital mutilation which takes place in some countries where we provide aid. I think what we need to do is be really, really tough with the decision makers, with the governments, with the people where, if you like, we have official contact, but not turn our backs on precisely the people who are suffering. That's why we work with a whole range of really good organisations NGOs, charities, aid agencies and so on, to get the help, not only in emergency time, in a crisis, in response to conflict or other humanitarian disasters, but also long term. For instance, just one final thing, this heart-breaking thing of the 200 girls being abducted in Northern Nigeria, we're about one of the only countries from anywhere else in the world, who try and still deliver aid in one of the most dangerous parts of Nigeria, in the north where the girls have gone missing.

NF: Okay.

NC: Next question. Sam from Lee on Sea. Hello Sam.

S: Hi there. We were discussing yesterday the bedroom tax and…

NC: When you say we, what do you mean?

NF: On the show.

S: On the show, yes. We were discussing whether bedroom taxes actually improve the housing situation, or whether actually it's just making people suffer because they are unable to move. And, that's really the case of my mum, because she's 58, she lives on her own, and yet she's paying £14 a week on bedroom tax, so she's down pretty much to £60 a month. Yet, her income is actually £60 a week, and recommended rate is £72, the government recommend someone should live on. At the moment myself, my brother, and my sister are subsidising that money and we're putting £20 into her account a month.

NF: So, Sam if I move you to a question, what would your question be, because we've only got two or three minutes left Sam?

S: Why wasn't the actual rate rated on how much benefit, why didn't we do a percentage, so if you claim £30,000 you still pay £14 a week, or if you are only claiming £10 you still get charged £14, why wasn't it an actual tiered system where it was a percentage of your benefits and claims?

NC: Right, Sam, as you know, what this is all about is to make sure that people like your mum in the social rented sector are treated in terms of the housing benefit they receive, the support they receive, in the same way as your neighbour who might be in the private rented sector. In other words, that the money you receive is provided for the space that you need, particularly, of course, at a time as you know Sam, and I'm sure you know many people in this situation, who are living in overcrowded accommodation. So, we've got this real problem as a country with lots of people in overcrowded accommodation which is very cruel for the families involved, particularly the kids, and then we've got a lot of, if you like, surplus space, and that's what we're trying to make sense of in all of this.

Of course there are hard cases where people are caught out by the change in the rules, even where they might want to move. You didn't quite say this, Sam, but I wasn't clear whether your mum would be prepared to move if she could find a down size.

S: She would.

NC: And, that's why we've provided huge, huge amounts of money to provide hard cash to those hard cases. I have to speak…I mean, this is not, if you like, me speaking on behalf of the government, but I'm certainly speaking on behalf of myself and the Liberal Democrats, I do think this issue going forward about what we do for those people who are paying the extra £14 a month, who aren't getting access to the discretionary housing payment. You might, if she hasn't done it, suggest to your mum that she wants to get in touch with the local council to see whether she's eligible for payments under the discretionary housing payments and people who want to move. I do think we need to look again at making sure that they are treated in a just and fair way.

NF: Thank you. We're running out of time. You're not the only political leader who has been in trouble, of course, recently. The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, seemed to battle with his choice of breakfast, so as I felt that you needed perhaps a little bit of beefing up, I've bought you a bacon sandwich, and hopefully it's in foil. But, I'd like you to eat some of it on air, and I've got some ketchup if you're interested.

NC: Yes, I want ketchup. Have you got a tissue or something?

NF: Of course. So, what we need to check now is that you can actually…

NC: But, surely I can get away with it on radio as I munch…

NF: There are cameras trained on you from just about every angle.

NC: I think this is very unfair, because I don't think anyone looks very elegant…I thought it was a bit unfair on poor Ed Miliband.

NF: We're about to discover, can Nick Clegg eat a bacon sandwich.

NC: With dignity.

NF: And, how will it work on the radio.

NC: One bite I will try. Mm it's very good.

NF: And, you like it? Now, that is how to eat a bacon sandwich, no doubt about it.

NC: I guarantee you, if you were to eat the rest of it, and I was to take thousands of pictures while you were doing it, I could manage to produce an unflattering or two ones of you.

NF: While you digest that, words from Boris Johnson. We spoke to Boris Johnson earlier in the show, he had this to say:

BJ: I think Nick is a serious grown up politician, who had to take a lot of very tough decisions, the toughest of which was to ask the Lib Dems, traditionally a protest party, to go into government and to do the right thing, and to tackle the deficit, and to help the Conservative side of the administration to get on with doing what Britain needed to do.'

NF: Words of encouragement from Boris Johnson. Final email comes in from Kenneth in Dartford: 'Everybody would seem to think that Vince Cable was plotting against you. Why don't you just say, put up and shut up, and sack Vince Cable?'

NC: No, absolutely not, for the reasons I explained earlier, Vince and I are going to carry on working together successfully, to deliver many of the policies and ideas that we've been campaigning on as Liberal Democrats for years and years and years.

NF: I don't know where you get your constitution, but credit to you thanks for coming in.

NC: Well, I get it from the bacon sarnie.

NF: You get it from the bacon sandwich. My privilege, my pleasure. You're listening to LBC with the state of London debate, information follows this.