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Lib Dems party of power not protest – Clegg

In his end-of-conference speech today, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is set to urge his party to stick with the Coalition and asserted it was a party of power, not just of protest.

Clegg will also introduce an extra £55m to help 110,000 children struggling with maths and English in secondary school, to come in from January 2013. Schools will get to decide how to spend the money.

He will say: “We will do whatever it takes to make sure your child is not left behind. So, yes, we’re raising the bar, but we’re ensuring every child can clear it too.”

Referring to the Conservatives’ failure to support reform in the House of Lords, Clegg is expected to say: “We’ve stuck to our task – and to the Coalition Agreement – even as others have wavered.”

He will claim that the critics had been confounded over the Liberal Democrats’ ability to form government and is to say: “Our mettle has been tested in the toughest of circumstances, and we haven’t been found wanting.”

Clegg will also highlight the need to continue with years of spending restraint, and acknowledged this would be difficult, requiring further necessary compromises.

“The choice between the party we were, and the party we are becoming, is a false one. The past is gone and it isn't coming back. If voters want a party of opposition – a ‘stop the world I want to get off’ party – they’ve got plenty of options, but we are not one of them,” he will conclude.

“There’s a better, more meaningful future waiting for us. Not as the third party, but as one of three parties of government.”

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Image c. Liberal Democrats


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