Nick Clegg’s speeches also borrowed lines from same source as Jeremy Corbyn did, says his former speechwriter

Polly Mackenzie has revealed that she occasionally used lines sent in by Richard Heller as part of the former Lib Dem leader's speeches

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Speeches made by Nick Clegg also featured lines “donated” by the same source as those in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour conference speech, the deputy prime minister’s former chief speechwriter has said.

Polly Mackenzie, former chief speechwriter for Mr Clegg, said that she had occasionally used lines sent in by Richard Heller as part of the former Lib Dem leader’s speeches.

“Personal confession. At least two Richard Heller lines made it into Clegg speeches. Is there anyone he doesn't write for?” she said on Twitter.

Ms Mackenzie, who served as a special advisor to the deputy prime minister in government, added that Mr Heller “used to send in ‘zingers’ unsolicited all the time”.

The revelation follows a minor media storm after it emerged that a number of lines in Mr Corbyn’s hour and a half long speech to Labour conference had earlier appeared on the blog of Mr Heller, a writer and former newspaper columnist.

Mr Heller later confirmed that he had offered the lines to Mr Corbyn, and had done so to previous Labour leaders because he felt they reflected what a Labour government should stand for.

Writing in The Guardian newspaper after the issue became known, the writer said he was “delighted” the passages had been used, also rebutting previous claims that the work had been plagarised.

“I have always been proud of that passage, both for its content and its cadences, so much so that I have offered it regularly to every Labour leader from Neil Kinnock onwards and to other Labour speakers,” he said.

“Four years ago, I published it on my website along with some other zingers and exordiums.”

The passages in question concern inequality of property and power in society.

Mr Corbyn’s speech touched on issues including internal debate within his party, refugees, cuts to tax credits, national security, and investment in social housing.

The Tuesday’s address was Mr Corbyn’s first to full conference as Labour leader.

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