Nick Clegg shift ‘not influenced by Labour’

Nick Clegg was accused of doing a political "u-turn". Picture: John Devlin

Nick Clegg was accused of doing a political "u-turn". Picture: John Devlin

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NICK CLEGG has shifted his regular Deputy Prime Minister press conference from the Scotland Office to Lib Dem headquarters amid concerns that it would be too party political.

However, a source close to the Lib Dem leader denied that the move followed complaints by Labour that Mr Clegg had been using Dover House - the home of the Scotland Office in Whitehall - because of complaints made by Labour about the use of government buildings for party political purposes.

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But he admitted that with the election coming up in May it was decided the latest press conference would be better to take place at Lib Dem HQ in London.

He said: “Labour have complained about every [DPM] press conference in some way.

“Mr Clegg is specifically using this as an election focussed one - so it was better to be in HQ.”

Following his press conference in Dover House in November, shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran made a formal complaint about Mr Clegg using government buildings for party political purposes claiming that he used a party logo at the event and a party official was tweeting from the event.

Last night Ms Curran said: “This u-turn from Nick Clegg shows he knows he was wrong all along. Dover House is Scotland’s home in London, not the Lib Dem’s home in Whitehall. Government premises should never be used for party political events and he was wrong to use Dover House in that way.”

A Scottish Labour source added: “Since taking up residence in Dover House, Nick Clegg has spent public money on putting frosted glass in the front doors. He’s also built a secret corridor for access from Dover House to Number 10, so he doesn’t have to walk outside, but he’s never admitted how much any of this cost. This is clearly a man who doesn’t want much public scrutiny of what he’s up to in Government.”

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