General Election 2015: David Cameron would be held hostage by Ukip if Tories form minority government, says Nick Clegg

Exclusive: Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says a minority Tory administration would create 'chaos'

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David Cameron would be held “hostage” by Ukip and “swivel-eyed” right-wing Conservative MPs if he forms a minority government after the election, Nick Clegg has warned.

In an interview with The Independent, the Liberal Democrat leader widened the divide between the Coalition parties by claiming that Mr Cameron would be “held to ransom” if he did not form another coalition with the Lib Dems. He turned on its head the Prime Minister’s call for people to vote for  the “competence” of a Tory-only government rather than the “chaos” of a coalition, saying a minority Tory administration would create "chaos."

His attack came on the day the election campaign turned nasty as Labour hit back at a highly personal attack on Ed Miliband by Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary.

Mr Clegg said Mr Cameron was maintaining a “complete fiction” that his party could win a majority. “The more he tells people to vote Conservative rather than Lib Dem, the more likely it is he will be taken hostage by Nigel Farage and the more loopy parts of his own party,” he said. The Tories have not ruled out a post-election pact with Ukip  and Mr Clegg is highlighting a group of about 30 right-wing Tory MPs in the last parliament who could destabilise a Cameron government without a majority.

 

The Deputy Prime Minister believes the election could be decided in  marginal seats where the Conservatives and Lib Dems do battle. His stark message to voters there was: “The great risk if you vote Conservative is that you end up with a minority Cameron administration propped up by Nigel Farage and in hock to the swivel-eyed brigade on the right wing of the Conservative Party.”

He added: “Far from voting for competence, a vote for the Conservatives in marginals against us, is a vote for the chaos of a Conservative administration held to ransom by Nigel Farage and right-wing Tory backbenchers.”

Mr Clegg added: “If you want competence, coherence and consensus, rather than instability and factionalism, the only rational decision is to vote Lib Dem rather than risk ending up with a government held hostage.”

He claimed: “A lot of mainstream, moderate voters want to see the Government to govern as we have done from the centre ground, and not to be beholden to the vagaries of a single issue party like Ukip or the obsessions of the Conservative right. They want a government that governs for the whole country and strikes the right balance.”

He added: “If you like the Coalition, you have to vote Lib Dem. Any other vote risks a right-wing lurch.

“Everyone knows the Conservatives and Labour are not going to win outright. The issue is: who is going to accompany them into Downing Street? Do you want Nigel Farage or Peter Bone [a right-wing Tory] to be the keyholder to Number 10? Or Lib Dems who would be an insurance policy that we would  govern for the whole country?” 


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