Nick Clegg: Nothing the Conservatives do can make me leave

Alex Hern reports on Nick Clegg's comments after his speech at Demos. He has revealed that there is nothing which will make him leave the coalition.


Nick Clegg gave a speech at Demos today in which he outlined the terms of his opposition within government, and laid out his vision for how the Liberal Democrats can continue to distinguish themselves from the Conservatives.

The deputy prime minister’s speech (pdf) was widely trailed, and so the most notable revelation came in the Q&A session at the end. Dodging a question from Rowenna Davis on Europe, Nick Clegg claimed that there was nothing the Conservatives can do to make the Liberal Democrats leave the coalition.

This answers our question of December 9th, when we asked “What are Clegg’s yellow lines?”

At the time, we wrote:

Throughout this Eurozone crisis, we’ve heard a lot about David Cameron’s ‘red lines‘ on Europe – the measures he absolutely will not agree to, no matter what the result.

But what we have heard little of are the ‘yellow lines’; those areas which the junior partner in the coalition will not compromise on.

After examining the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto, we concluded:

It appears that the only lines Lib Dems won’t cross are the ones which Tories don’t want them to.

Just ten days ago, this seemed like a controversial conclusion. But now we have heard it straight from the Clegg’s mouth: He is in the coalition come what may.

See also:

What are Clegg’s yellow lines?Alex Hern, December 9th 2011

Lib Dems: We are delivering on our End Child Detention pledgeTom Brake MP, November 18th 2011

Hammond hammers another nail in the coffin of the “greenest government ever”Alex Hern, September 30th 2011

Clegg’s defence of Human Rights Act as welcome as it is timelyDr Prateek Buch, August 26th 2011

Clegg’s £10k tax allowance is no Tory concession; it’s a Tory dreamTim Horton and Howard Reed, May 12th 2010

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