Nick Clegg’s Blog


Nick Clegg letter to Gordon Brown urging Iraq Inquiry appearance before election
13 January, 2010, 4:32 pm
Filed under: News

Following today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats has written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, urging him to indicate to the Chilcot Inquiry that he would prefer to appear before it ahead of the election. The text of the letter in full:

Dear Gordon,

I am writing to urge you to indicate immediately to Sir John Chilcot that it is your strong preference to go before the Iraq Inquiry ahead of the General Election.

Following developments yesterday at Alastair Campbell’s hearing, your personal role in the decisions that led to the war in Iraq has now come under the spotlight. The notion that your hearing should take place after the election in order that the Inquiry remains outside of party politics therefore no longer holds. On the contrary, the sense that you have been granted special treatment because of your position as Prime Minister will only serve to undermine the perceived independence of the Committee.

As I said to you across the floor of the Commons today, people have a right to know the truth about the part you played in this war before they cast their verdict on your Government’s record. I urge you to confirm publicly that should Sir John Chilcot invite you to give evidence to the Inquiry ahead of the election you will agree to do so.

Nick Clegg

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Nick Clegg Meets… Bradford
6 January, 2010, 11:37 am
Filed under: Nick Meets...

Nick Clegg Meets… Bradford

About

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats will visit Bradford for the latest in his Nick Meets… public meetings across the UK. You have the chance to ask ‘any questions’ in this open invitation forum.

At Nick Meets… Bradford, Nick is keen to discuss his plans to rebuild the economy and fix our broken politics. This said, he would really like to hear your views and your questions.

Where

Karmand Community Centre Barkerend Road Bradford BD3 9EP

(Map)

When

21st January 2010, 18.30 (Doors Open 18.00)

Book Free Tickets Now

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Nick Clegg Meets… Hawick
5 January, 2010, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Nick Meets...

Nick Clegg Meets… Hawick

About

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats will visit Hawick for the latest in his Nick Meets… public meetings across the UK. You have the chance to ask ‘any questions’ in this open invitation forum.

At Nick Meets… Hawick, Nick and Michael Moore, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk are keen to discuss his plans to rebuild the economy and fix our broken politics. This said, he would really like to hear your views and your questions.

Where

Heart of Hawick Theatre, Upstairs from Beanscene, Kirkstile, Hawick, TD9 0AE

(Map)

When

15th January 2010, 18.30 (Doors Open 18.00)

Book Free Tickets Now

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The Liberal Democrats are not for sale
5 January, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Inside Westminster, News

The Liberal Democrats are not for sale

5th January 2010

Nick Clegg, The Times

If there is a hung Parliament there will be no under-the-counter deals with either big party

Hostilities have started. The frenzied announcements and counter-announcements from the Conservative and Labour parties over the past few days point towards a long, grinding election campaign.

Much of what we have heard so far is unsurprising: absurd pledges on spending, vitriolic attacks on cuts.

But one development is new: both the old parties now claim to be almost identical to the Liberal Democrats. David Cameron and Gordon Brown are ostentatiously flirting with Liberal Democrat voters, clumsily trying to woo them — and by implication me and my fellow Liberal Democrat MPs.

This year’s general election is likely to be the most open and unpredictable in a generation. So you have a right to know where we stand. I can promise voters wondering whether to put an “X” against the Liberal Democrats that there are no backroom deals or under-the-counter “understandings” with either of the other two parties.

The stance the Liberal Democrats will take matters more than ever because the map of British politics is being dramatically redrawn. Slowly but surely three-party politics has asserted itself. Half a century ago only 2 per cent of voters chose a party other than Labour or the Conservatives. At last year’s local elections, that had shot up to 40 per cent. At the last general election, one in four people who voted supported the Liberal Democrats; six million voters, more than for any other Liberal party in Europe.

So no wonder that both Mr Brown and Mr Cameron are trying to appeal to the millions of people who have long tired of the pendulum politics of Westminster. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it’s a compliment of sorts that the core values of the Liberal Democrats — fairness in society, real change in politics — are now being mimicked by others. On so many issues in recent years, Liberal Democrat instincts have been in tune with the British public: on Iraq, civil liberties, political reform, the environment, fair taxes, the excesses of the City of London, the rights of Gurkha veterans.

We are, and have shown ourselves to be, very different from the other two parties. My message to Mr Brown and Mr Cameron is simple: the Liberal Democrats are up for real change. We are not up for sale.
Mr Brown and Mr Cameron utter fine words about reform and fairness, but their policies aren’t even close to what’s needed. They both say that tax should be fair, but Mr Brown has created a tax system where the poorest pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than the rich, while Mr Cameron’s top priority is tax cuts for millionaires.

But Britain faces economic, social, political and environmental crises on an extraordinary scale. So we need an extraordinary government, not more of the same, for these extraordinary times. In the event of a hung Parliament, the British people also deserve to know how the Liberal Democrats will respond. We have two basic principles that I will uphold.

One, we will respect the will of the public. The voters are in charge and the decision is theirs. If voters decide that no party deserves an overall majority, then self-evidently the party with the strongest mandate will have a moral right to be the first to seek to govern on its own or, if it chooses, to seek alliances with other parties.

Two, regardless of the post-election arithmetic or whatever power we are granted, there are four objectives that we will unwaveringly pursue.

First: fair taxes. Our plan would mean that the first £10,000 you earn would be free of income tax. This would be paid for by taxing income and capital at the same rate, phasing out special pension subsidies for highest-rate earners, switching tax from income to pollution and introducing a mansion tax on the value of homes above £2 million.

Second: a fair start for all our children. We will cut class sizes and provide more one-to-one tuition to children by introducing a new “pupil premium” in our schools.

Third: a fair and sustainable economy that creates jobs. We will use the money from one year’s cuts in current spending to create tens of thousands of new jobs in public transport, a national programme of home insulation and new social housing. We will be honest about where savings must be made to balance the books and we will break up the banking system.

And finally, fair, clean and local politics. We will introduce a fair voting system, ensure that MPs can be sacked by their constituents if they break the rules, return powers to local communities and stop tax avoiders from standing for Parliament, sitting in the House of Lords or donating to political parties.

While the other parties set out increasingly implausible lists of promises, the Liberal Democrats will remain focused on this short list of big, structural changes that will make Britain fairer. Neither of the other parties seems willing or capable of delivering them. So the Liberal Democrat message to the voters is clear: if you like what we offer, vote for it. The decision is in your hands.

Nick Clegg is leader of the Liberal Democrats

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Irish ‘Yes’ Vote Paves the Way for Stronger, More Democratic EU
5 October, 2009, 8:21 am
Filed under: News

This result finally puts to rest years of wrangling over Europe’s future and paves the way for a stronger and more democratic European Union.

The worst thing would be to re-open this self-indulgent debate. David Cameron should now finally accept the treaty as a fact of life instead of plotting with Eastern European nations to have it blocked. The Conservatives are already embarrassing themselves and Britain with their petulant impotence on Europe.

Big issues like the economic crisis, climate change and cross-border crime cannot be tackled by any country on its own. The EU offers us safety in numbers and this is why best place for Britain remains at the very heart of Europe.

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Conference 2009 – Day 4
23 September, 2009, 10:53 am
Filed under: Conference 2009

Nick Clegg

Liberal Democrats Conference 2009

Day 4: Nick’s Agenda Highlights

Tuesday 22nd September 2009, Bournemouth

– Conference 2009:

10.00: Nick Clegg Outside Westminster visit: Bournemouth and Poole College’s community farm

– Conference 2009:

13.00: Nick Clegg Fringe Event: Liberty – Interview with Shami Chakrabarti

From the Fringe: The Liberty Fringe – Common Values and Liberal Democracy

Nick Clegg has outlined why only the Liberal Democrats will stand up to protect the civil liberties of British citizens. Speaking in conversation with Shami Chakrabarti, the director of civil rights group Liberty, Mr Clegg criticised Labour’s authoritarian measures and said that the Conservatives were flip-floppers.

He said that his family background – his mother was imprisoned in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp while his grandmother fled Russian pogroms to seek asylum in Britain – and his natural instinct to always question authority influenced his passion to protect civil liberties.

Mr Clegg said that Labour had brought in illiberal measures such as control orders, where people can be incarcerated without facing trial or even being told of the charges against them, because the party believed that any threat to collective safety justified targeting individuals’ liberty.

The Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, believe that infringing the rights of individuals through control orders is a slippery slope to further huge erosions of personal freedom, he said.

Mr Clegg contrasted the Liberal Democrats’ principled stand on control orders with Conservative “flip flopping”.

“In February 2007 as Tony Blair was trying to introduce control orders I said that they are wrong and we would vote against it,” he said.

“The Tory spokesman said he agreed with everything I said, they were wrong, and if it carried on the Tories would vote against it next year. In 2008 they did not fulfil that promise. That tells you all you need to know about the differences the two biggest opposition parties.”

Full coverage will appear here as events unfold.The Liberal Democrats 2009 Conference runs from 19th – 23rd September 2009.

For a full agenda of the Liberal Democrats 2009 Autumn Conference visit the Liberal Democrats Conference site: Here

– Conference 2009: Nick Clegg meets Terry Pratchett

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats today met author Sir Terry Pratchett at the Liberal Democrats 2009 Conference. Sir Terry is at conference today to promote the Alzheimer’s Research Trust find out more about their work: Here

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Conference 2009: Day 3
22 September, 2009, 9:21 am
Filed under: Conference 2009

Nick Clegg

Liberal Democrats Conference 2009

Day 3: Nick’s Agenda Highlights

Monday 21st September 2009, Bournemouth

– Conference 2009:

13.00: Leadership in a Global Age – The Economy The Environment & Globalisation (Noreena Hertz)

Nick Clegg today took part in his second fringe meeting at Conference 2009 with economist Noreena Hertz at the Liberal Democrats Conference 2009 Fringe Event ‘Climate Clinic’. Following the launch of Nick Clegg’s campaign ‘One Planet, One Voice’ (http://www.nickclegg.com/oneplanet) they discussed the economy and climate change. You can also see an interview with Noreena Hertz following the event: Here

– Conference 2009:

17.30: Nick Clegg Meets… Poole – Public Meeting

Nick Clegg celebrated his 50th public meeting in Poole for his latest Nick Meets… event. To find out more about Nick Clegg’s public meetings visit: http://meet.nickclegg.com

Full coverage will appear here as events unfold.The Liberal Democrats 2009 Conference runs from 19th – 23rd September 2009. For a full agenda of the Liberal Democrats 2009 Autumn Conference visit the Liberal Democrats Conference site: Here

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