Angry Clegg puts Cameron in same group as the BNP
Nick Clegg has launched an incredible broadside at his boss Prime Minister David Cameron as the alternative vote campaign gets personal.
The Deputy Prime Minister bracketed Mr Cameron with the BNP as he attacked the Premier for 'defending the indefensible' with his opposition to electoral reform.
He said Mr Cameron was aligning himself with 'reactionary interests' in backing the No to AV campaign.
He accused the group of peddling 'lies, misinformation and deceit' – and said he hoped the referendum would mark the final 'death rattle of a right wing elite'.
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Mr Clegg contrasted the supporters of AV – including the leaders of the Labour Party, the Green Party, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, and the UK Independence Party – with the forces ranged against them. "The other side, you'd have David Cameron, (British National Party leader) Nick Griffin and whoever leads the Communist Party. Now that tells you volumes about the very reactionary interests that are defending the indefensible," he told the Independent on Sunday.
Despite their friendly public appearances together in the past, he insisted that he and Mr Cameron were not 'mates', and attacked the Prime Minister's appearance on a No to AV platform with former Labour Home Secretary, Lord Reid.
"When Conservatives team up with a man as reactionary and backward-looking as John Reid, you know the old establishment, the old elite, are thrashing around," he said.
Mr Clegg also turned his barrels on one of his own South West MPs. He hit back at outspoken comments made by Torbay MP Adrian Sanders, who warned Mr Clegg had lost a generation of young voters.
Mr Sanders, a former party whip, branded Mr Clegg an "opportunistic careerist" and said the party's image had been "irrevocably damaged" as a result of the coalition with the Conservatives. Mr Clegg said the "vast majority" of members of the party think he is "doing the right thing".
He added: "I just think when the going gets tough some people start panicking and turning inwards.
"The vast majority of Liberal Democrats hold firm, realise this is tough but realise in the grand scheme of things we are doing the right thing."
The AV campaign may have started slowly, but the days until May 5 will become interesting if it continues like this.