Tuesday, February 27

Clegg: I’ve wanted to slap Cameron



In a lively interview on an anarchic late-night chat show, the Deputy Prime Minister also said Boris Johnson was more of a “twat” than a statesman.

During the appearance on The Last Leg, he was asked how many times in the last five years he had wanted to give the Prime Minister a slap.

“A few times, yes, and, I think, likewise,” he replied.

Pressed on whether it was more than 10 or 20 times, he said: “Oh, more than that.”

During a “showdown” with p resenter Alex Brooker, who deployed a “bull**** buzzer” when he was unhappy with the quality of the Liberal Democrat leader’s answers, Mr Clegg faced a barrage of tricky questions.

Asked if the London mayor was a statesman or a twat, he replied: “A bit more of the latter.”

Mr Clegg repeatedly refused to choose whether he preferred Mr Cameron or Chancellor George Osborne.

Labour’s Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, talks “a lot of sense on Europe”, he said.

But a sked if he ever looked over at Labour and wished he had gone into coalition with it instead, Mr Clegg said: “No, not very much”.

“I just think they have both got it a bit wrong at the moment, actually. I think they are both lurching left and right.”

After repeated prodding, Mr Clegg admitted that, on a scale of one to 10, his angst over the decision to ditch his promise on tuition fees was a nine and a half.

Brooker turned the screw on the Lib Dem leader right from the start of the live show, warning him: “This ain’t going to help your poll ratings.”

When Mr Clegg grabbed hold of the presenter’s pocket handkerchief, Brooker, who has a disability, told him: “You’ve done enough bad things to the disabled.”

In making a pitch to get the sceptical interviewer to cast a vote at the upcoming general election, the party leader said not voting would be like going into high street food chain Nando’s, not putting in an order and then complaining if you were unhappy with what you were served.

Brooker later told the Deputy Prime Minister he had been a “good sport”.

“I think I was kippered,” Mr Clegg said.

The television appearance was soon trending on Twitter.

Anglican priest Kate Bottley wrote: “#isitok that I’m a bit worried that @TheLastLeg might make me like Nick Clegg #cleggleg.”

Historian Greg Jenner said: “I applaud Clegg’s courage, he was ambushed but fought back – I’d happily have this as a regular feature #thelastleg #CleggLeg.”

Rob Eaton, who describes himself as an “average 17 year old from Surrey” wrote: “Credit to nick clegg for not only presenting a good argument to vote but also being genuinely funny #cleggleg #thelastleg.”

During a convoluted game, Mr Clegg threw a melon at Brooker, who had a blade taped to his foot to despatch the oncoming fruit.

Kerri Shimell, a textiles graduate, tweeted: “What am I watching? Nick Clegg throwing a melon at a disabled man? Lucky he had that big blade on his foot to protect himself. #cleggleg.”