Snub for Clegg as Obama declines personal meeting


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The White House has turned down a request for a one-to-one meeting between President Obama and Nick Clegg when he visits Britain next week.

Aides to the Deputy Prime Minister tried to secure an audience with the President as part of his first state visit to Britain. Mr Obama is due to meet Ed Miliband as Leader of the Opposition, and the Liberal Democrats had hoped the White House would agree to a similar meeting with Mr Clegg, pictured.

However, Government sources said the request had been turned down by Washington. It is understood they felt that as President it would not be appropriate for him to have a one-to-one meeting with a Deputy Prime Minister. Mr Clegg will meet Mr Obama – but at all times David Cameron will be in the room.

It is a sign of tensions between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives that Mr Clegg's officials blame the Tories for leaking news of the supposed White House "snub".

Increasingly the Coalition partners are briefing against one another in ways which would have been inconceivable before the acrimonious AV referendum campaign. Last night, Liberal Democrat sources insisted that insisted that an official request for a "one-to-one" had not been made.