FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg blamed his party’s humiliating election defeat on an “invidious” nationalism north and south of the border as he said the Tory campaign highlighting the prospect of a Labour-SNP coalition “really chilled the English heart”.
Mr Clegg, in is his first post election TV interview, said that a “vice like” nationalist “fervour” swept his party away on 7 May and that the Tories “skilfully exploited” the rise of the SNP to win.
He said the “genesis” of the UK election result was in Scotland and not Whitehall as he claimed the surge in SNP support and the English nationalism he said the Tories had stoked up in response to this led to his party’s heavy loses and David Cameron’s victory.
The former Lib Dem leader, speaking on BBC1’s the Sunday Politics, said that in the final period of the election campaign that “something shifted” and that voters moved increasingly towards the Tories as the party highlighted the likelihood of a minority Labour government being propped up by the SNP.
Mr Clegg said the Conservative campaign on a potential Labour-SNP deal in the event of a hung parliament had been one of the decisive reasons for Mr Cameron’s outright win.