Why wasn't Nick Clegg at the Autumn Statement yesterday?

The deputy prime minister was in Cornwall yesterday while the Autumn Statement was being announced – but why?

It’s one of the most important political days of the year, but Nick Clegg wasn’t to be seen anywhere.

A source told the Telegraph Clegg didn’t want to sit next to either George Osborne or David Cameron in parliament during the speech.

In the run up to the general election next year, it seems the deputy PM is distancing himself from the Tory party.

This follows a series of poor polling results which show Lib Dems public support has plummeted since entering into the coalition with the Conservatives in 2010.

The source told the Telegraph: “He has decided he doesn’t want to sit next to David Cameron or George Osborne. He has not been there for the past two Prime Minister’s Questions.

“It has not done him much good – his party is still on 6 per cent [in the polls].”

Clegg plans to be back on the front bench during next week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, his aides told the paper.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Perhaps it's not Nick that is choosing not to be there - perhaps his "coalition partners" are fed up with him sniping and whining but still wanting to be Deputy PM - perhaps they consider his contribution won't be missed
    Perhaps also they think he should do the honorable thing and dissolve the coalition

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  • Bit late, isn't it? He should have distanced himself from the Tories in 2010, then he might have a shred of credibility left.

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