The tensions in the coalition erupted into a furious row when the Deputy Prime Minister said that the Conservatives cannot be trusted.
Mr Clegg used his speech to the Scottish spring conference to distance his party from the Tories, arguing that it was the Lib Dems who were keeping the excesses of David Cameron’s party in check.
Mr Clegg said: “The legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s government lingers long in the memory here. People in Scotland know that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to deliver a fairer society. Not on their own anyway.
“With only one MP in Scotland, who honestly thinks that the Conservatives on their own will stand up for you?”
His remarks, however, led to a withering response from the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. She said: “This attack from Nick Clegg is so desperate, it’s embarrassing.
“Since he became Deputy Prime Minister, Scotland has chosen to vote out of office over half of all Lib Dem councillors and more than two thirds of Lib Dem MSPs. The idea that he has anything to say that resonates with the people of Scotland is a joke.”