Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents

Nick Clegg today sat shoulder-to-shoulder with George Osborne in defending the axing of the loan to Sheffield Forgemasters - in his constituency - forcing the plant to stop work on a new press for nuclear power plants which would have resulted in the creation of 200 jobs.

Nick Clegg today sat shoulder-to-shoulder with George Osborne in defending the axing of the loan to Sheffield Forgemasters – in his constituency – forcing the plant to stop work on a new press for nuclear power plants which would have resulted in the creation of 200 jobs. In his constituency. The deputy prime minister spent the entire election campaign, and the TV debates in particular, telling anyone who would listen that he was in it to represent his Sheffield constituency, constantly repeating the refrain.

Yet today, he floundered over the justification for the decision when questioned by Jack Straw at prime minister’s questions, taking his cues from George Osborne, to all the world looking his chief political strategist, the organ grinder, nodding away like the Churchill dog, on hand to brief the monkey.

Having had his pep talk, Clegg failed to answer Straw’s questions over Forgemasters – in particular the point raised in yesterday’s Financial Times. The FT had reported that Graham Honeyman, Forgemasters’ chief executive, told the deputy prime minister he was willing to dilute his share, something Clegg admitted in a private letter to the businessman.

Clegg wrote:

“[You] made clear to me your own willingness to dilute your equity share.”

The letter contradicted statements made by Clegg and the prime minister to the Commons. Clegg had said:

“Do I think it is the role of government to help out owners of companies who do not want to dilute their own shareholdings? No I do not.”

While Cameron told MPs:

“The question is whether it is an appropriate use of taxpayers’ money to give [the loan] to a business that could raise that money by diluting its shareholding.”

Today, however, Clegg failed to apologise to the House for misleading it, despite being invited to on numerous occasions… that’s Nick Clegg, who has a Sheffield constituency (and a new best friend!)

Update 16:30hrs

Thanks to our friends at The Guardian, who have clipped the exchanges for everyone’s enjoyment:

21 Responses to “Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents”

  1. Krupesh J. Hirani

    RT @leftfootfwd: Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents: //bit.ly/cWCR7f #ConDemNation #falseeconomy

  2. Shamik Das

    PMQs sketch: RT @leftfootfwd Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents //bit.ly/cWCR7f (with thanks to @nextleft!)

  3. Kevin

    The sacrificial lamb of forge-masters was the only way that Cameroon would trust foghorn clegghorn. A shooting star in the night firmament destined to fade within a moment…

  4. Mr. Sensible

    Clegg’s overall performence could best be described as poor.

    Away from that, did anyone notice the inconsistancy that Clegg gave with regard to the strategy in Afghanistan? First, he said it wasn’t in stone, but next minute he said our troupes will be out in 2014.

    In my view, this artificial timetable is a bad move, and I’ve a suspician it may be politically motivated.

  5. Andy Sutherland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents: //bit.ly/cWCR7f #ConDemNation #falseeconomy

  6. Malcolm Evison

    Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents | Left Foot Forward: //bit.ly/cdJ3Gm via @addthis

  7. Rachel Hardy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents //bit.ly/cWCR7f

  8. Robert

    If this man is leading his party at the next election then he will be out on his ear after treating his own constituents with such contempt.

    It would be interesting if the major polling organisations conducted some opinion polls to see how Mr Clegg is faring in his own constituency!

  9. Ben Briggs

    RT @leftfootfwd Nick agrees with George – and fails to defend his constituents: //bit.ly/cWCR7f #ConDemNation #falseeconomy

  10. Robster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg lies to the house and fails to defend his constituents //bit.ly/cWCR7f

  11. rebjn

    I don’t disagree (entirely) with your article, but as far as I know Sheffield Forgemasters isn’t in Sheffield Hallam – Clegg’s constituemcy.

  12. Robert N

    In the end I think Clegg will walk away from Government in five years time, he will of course get a Lordship out of this with Cable, and they will retire but he will write a book about being in power, how he took the liberals back to the top, it will be available with Prescott’s and Blair’s and Browns in any charity shop four days after release, thats how I got Prescott, it was 10p.

    The sad fact New labour which this party still is, has major problems to get the voters back each day new sleaze comes out and more and more deaths of soldiers, it’s not looking or boding well for Labour over the next few years

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  14. Chris

    And to think that the tories were so scared of how good Clegg might be at PMQs that they decided to end parliament a couple of days early to deny him a second week. I bet they’re wishing they’d let him have a second go now as he was so shit he made Straw look good.

    He wouldn’t answer the question, needed constant advice from Osborne and then went totally bonkers by potentially risking the prosecution of British soldiers at the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Any post-debate shine has well and truly rubbed off Clegg now, so suck on that you backstabbing LibDem wankers!!!

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