Conference Diary: Who wants to see Clegg's mug shot?


It is very British to come up with an inspirational idea, then wildly misjudge the market. If only the people in charge of the Liberal Democrat Image stall at Brighton had foreseen the sales potential...

So many people wanted a commemorative mug decorated with a picture of Nick Clegg and quoting his words "There is no easy way to say this: we made a pledge, we didn't stick to it – and for that I am sorry" that they were all gone before lunch yesterday. The conference continues, mugless, until Wednesday.

Good timing, Nick

It was Nick Clegg’s 12th wedding anniversary yesterday, he declared. On 23 September 2000, Clegg was a  relatively new Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament, who must have spent his week at the party conference and hurried away to be married on the Saturday so that he could honeymoon while the main parties held their conferences. Sensible timing.

Don't give up your day job...

As Nick Clegg's Q&A session came to a close, he was asked what he would do if the remix of his "I'm Sorry" speech topped the charts. No need to worry – it peaked at 143.

Invincible! The secret history of the party

Not all Liberal Democrats are in sorry mode. One motion on the agenda opens with the resounding words: "The Liberal Democrats and their forebears can take justifiable pride in their role across the last five centuries…" Five centuries? Even Vince Cable wasn't around that far back.

Some senior Lib Dems are more equal than others

Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames are the new Lib Dem power couple. She was promoted to Business Minister in the reshuffle. He took over her old job as Nick Clegg's parliamentary private secretary. "I am her bag carrier," he says. Swinson is also, appropriately, an equalities minister.