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UK Politics

'Children were frightened by protesters', says Clegg


Children were frightened by protesters who descended on Nick Clegg's street, the Deputy Prime Minister said today.

Youngsters were scared when more than 400 campaigners yesterday held a street party in the south-west London road where Mr Clegg lives with his family.

He said: "We have lots of neighbours who like us have small children and some of those small children were quite scared so that's not, on a human level, very nice.

"But I have to say on the other hand the protesters, by the sounds of it, were entirely peaceful."

Hundreds of anti-cuts protesters held an "alternative street party", playing music, performing comedy and making speeches, in the event organised by UK Uncut.

The anti-austerity group targeted Mr Clegg because of his role in Government cuts.

Jean Sandler, 42, a UK Uncut supporter, said: "Nick Clegg is one of the architects of austerity; he's a millionaire and lives in a million pound home.

"The cuts are a political choice of this Government and the Cabinet of out of touch millionaires, they are not necessary.

"No one voted for Cameron and Clegg's disastrous plan that means that we end up paying for the banks' crisis.

"These cruel cuts are designed to destroy our public services, the NHS, the welfare state and our future.

"The cuts are getting personal and so are our protests."

The Liberal Democrat leader, who was not home when yesterday's rally took place, said he and wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez vowed not to move house to shield their family "behind the Whitehall battlements".

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "We didn't take up the offer to move into a flat behind the Whitehall battlements after the Government was formed because we wanted out children - still want our children - to lead as normal a life as possible.

"At the same time I accept if you're Deputy Prime Minister in a Government doing difficult things people want to make their views known."