Nick Clegg’s speech to Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference in Brighton yesterday, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
This summer, as we cheered our athletes to gold after gold after gold, Britain remembered how it feels to win again. But more importantly, we remembered what it takes to win again. Whether from Jess Ennis or Mo Farah, Sarah Storey or David Weir, the message was the same: we may be the ones on the podium, but behind each of us stands a coach.  And behind the coach, a team. And behind the team, the organisers, the volunteers, the supporters. And behind them, a whole city, an entire country, the UK nations united behind one goal.

What a contrast from a year ago when England’s cities burned in a week of riots. When the images beamed to the world were not of athletes running for the finishing line, but the mob, running at police lines. When the flames climbed, not from the Olympic torch in east London, but a furniture shop in south London. A 140 year-old family-run business, which had survived two world wars and countless recessions, razed to the ground. Of course, even then, amid the smoke and embers, we saw our country’s true character when residents came out onto the streets to clear up the mess. (more…)

Nick Clegg calls for ‘John Lewis economy’

Nick Clegg yesterday called on more British companies to offer shares to their employees, arguing it will improve productivity and unlock growth. “We don’t believe our problem is too much capitalism – we think it’s that too few people have capital.”

Read yesterday’s news story on this site for the full speech.

(Also available on the BBC website here.)

Nick Clegg’s speech to Liberal Democrat Conference

Nick Clegg MP

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg MP

Speaking at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference today [Wednesday], Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

Liberal Democrats, we have now been in Government for 500 days. Not easy, is it? None of us thought it would be a walk in the park, but I suspect none of us predicted just how tough it would turn out to be. We’ve lost support, we’ve lost councillors, and we lost a referendum. I know how painful it has been to face anger and frustration on the doorstep.

Some of you may have even wondered: Will it all be worth it in the end? It will be. And today I want to explain why.

But above all I want to pay tribute to you. Your resilience. Your grace under fire. I have been genuinely moved by your spirit and your strength. Thank you. Thank you, above all, for never forgetting what we are in politics for. After the May elections, Alex Cole-Hamilton, one of our defeated candidates in Edinburgh said that if losing was part payment for ending child detention then, as he said: “I accept it, with all my heart.”

That is the liberal spirit and that is something we will never lose. The spirit that gave birth to our party a century and half ago, that kept us alive when the other two parties tried to kill us off. The spirit that means however great our past, our fight will always be for a better future. (more…)

One Year In

Nick Clegg MP

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg MP

One Year In: Coalition and Liberal Politics – Nick Clegg’s speech to mark the first anniversary of the Coalition

Yesterday morning at the National Liberal Club, Nick Clegg gave a speech to party members to mark the first anniversary of the Coalition Government. In the light of the past year, and of last week’s election results, Nick set out to answer what these mean for the Liberal Democrats – both as a party and in government.


I think it is obvious that this is a moment when as a party we need to take a hard look at ourselves. We were given a bloody nose by the voters last week. We lost almost 750 council seats. And of course the AV referendum delivered a clear ‘no’ vote.

So, a year into coalition government, some vital questions are being asked. In particular – what does this mean for the Liberal Democrats? And what does it mean for the Government? I am going to try and answer those questions today. (more…)

Restoring hard-won British liberties

An array of sweeping reforms will put an end to unwarranted local authority snooping and unnecessary scrutiny of individuals.

Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today welcomed the publication of the Protection of Freedoms Bill. The Bill steps up the coalition government’s commitment to restore hard-won British liberties. An array of sweeping reforms will put an end to unwarranted local authority snooping and unnecessary scrutiny of individuals. It will see: (more…)

Nick Clegg speech to Public Services Summit

Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today addressed the Guardian Public Services Summit – the full text of the speech can be read below.

Nick Clegg MP

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg MP

The questions that confronted me, when I came into government, were these:

How can we reinvent and strengthen our public services at a time of anxiety and stretched resources?

And how can we preserve the public sector ethos as we move to a more plural, diverse and personalised way of running our public services?

There will no doubt be some sceptics in this room about whether those things are possible.

It is a Guardian event, after all, and I think scepticism is in the drinking water over there.

Many of you have been through reconfigurations, redesigns and redeployments so many times you’re probably sick to the back teeth of them.

And you probably groan at the prospect of further reform. But change in the circumstances of today is not a luxury its essential if we want to ensure the best days for our public services are ahead of us. In fact pressure on spending in public services without change would produce the worst out come of all.

We can’t just wait and hope for the best when children are still being let down, and when the poorest are being let down the most.

We can’t just wait and hope for the best when health inequalities are rising

And we can’t just wait and hope the best when, because of the deficit, there simply isn’t the money to paper over cracks and inefficiencies any longer.

We have to modernise our public services.

And we can make them better if we do. (more…)


Nick Clegg MP

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg MP

This morning Nick Clegg delivered a speech asking the public how they want the Government to redress the balance between the citizen and the state. He said:


This morning I want to talk about freedom.

For too long new laws and regulations have taken away people’s freedoms, interfered in everyday life, and made it difficult for businesses to get by. The state has crept further and further into people’s homes, the places they work, their private lives. That intrusion is wrong; it’s illiberal; it’s disempowering and it’s going to change.

This government is putting freedom under the spotlight in a way the previous government never did. We want the British people have their say on where the state should step in, and where it should butt out. We are asking people for ideas on restoring hard won liberties that have been lost… On repealing unnecessary laws that have no place on the statute book… And on stripping away the excessive regulation that stops businesses from innovating. (more…)

New Politics: Nick Clegg’s speech on constitutional reform

Nick Clegg: New Politics

Nick Clegg: New Politics

Today Nick Clegg Leader of the Liberal Democrats gave his first official speech as Deputy Prime Minister on constitutional reform and the ‘New Politics’.

Speaking at his first major speech as Deputy Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said: “I have spent my whole political life fighting to open up politics. So let me make one thing very clear: this government is going to be unlike any other.

“This government is going to transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state.

Nick Clegg welcomes conference vote

Nick Clegg MP

Nick Clegg MP

Liberal Democrat Special Conference in Birmingham today overwhelmingly approved the party’s Coalition Agreement with the Conservative Party.

Speaking after the vote, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “It is five days since I accepted the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

“Just five days, and we now know there will be no ID cards, no third runway at Heathrow, no more fingerprinting in schools without parents’ consent, no more child detention.