Clegg scolds Tory backbenches
Backbench Tory MPs act as if they had won the last election, and have no right to do so, Nick Clegg has said.
Addressing a rally at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton the Deputy Prime Minister accused Tory backbenchers of forcing the country towards a “turbo-charged right wing agenda”.
“My message to those Conservative backbench MPs who seem to think they have the right to force a turbo-charged right wing agenda on our country is this: You didn’t win the last election. You do not have a majority. The British people have not given you the right to act like you do,” he told assembled delegates.
Mr Clegg said it was “no secret” that the Coalition parties had different priorities but that the government had been formed for the good of the country. He warned against "squabbling" within the Coalition, which he said would reflect badly on the Government.
The Liberal Democrat leader also told his party that Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander would head a review of the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, and also said he wanted to “go further” on tax reform.
Soon after Mr Clegg urged Lib Dems to campaign for "fairer taxes" in his speech, an email was sent to all party members asking them to sign a petition for a mansion tax.
He also demanded that Ed Miliband apologise for the Iraq war on behalf of the Labour Party, calling the party "divided and deluded".
In an interview with the Financial Times today Mr Clegg said he was determined to lead the party into the next election, insisting he has learnt to "both fight and win bare-knuckle fights" during his time in government.