Nick Clegg's only personal feud is with Ed Balls
Deputy Prime Minister says he made it a rule to keep arguments focused on policy, but he 'made an exception' for the shadow Chancellor
Wednesday 25 December 2013
Nick Clegg has said shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is the only politician with whom he has a personal feud.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he made it a rule to keep arguments focused on policy, but he "made an exception" for the combative Labour MP.
The comments came in a special Christmas edition of Mr Clegg's LBC radio show at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.
Answering questions from an audience of young people, the Liberal Democrat leader revealed that two of his sons had needed hospital treatment in the past.
He also said his mother had inspired his political career, and disclosed that he and his siblings secretly insult people in Dutch.
Asked what techniques he used to win people over in discussions, Mr Clegg said: "I always try to keep a good sense of humour, and if I have an argument with someone to keep the argument about what the argument is about and not allow it too often to become sort of personal.
"I make one exception, for a man named Ed Balls. But other than that I try not to make it about insults and stuff."
Mr Clegg said he had been treated in an NHS hospital before, but not for anything major.
"Two of my children have been in hospital in the past, one of them quite seriously," he added.
"Like all families we have been in and out and depend massively on the NHS."
Mr Clegg was challenged to say what he found most useful about being able to speak five languages.
"Probably the most useful is that my brothers and sisters and I can say slightly rude things about people in Dutch confident in the knowledge unless they're Dutch speakers they don't know what we're saying about them," he said.
"There has actually been a case where said something slightly rude about someone in a lift... in Dutch and the person just turned around in Dutch and said 'we understand every word you've said'."
Mr Clegg reiterated his opposition to the 11 per cent pay rise for MPs announced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) earlier this month.
"I hope it won't happen, and it is wrong, and it shouldn't happen. I very much hope it won't," he said.
He stressed that the watchdog was "completely independent" of government, but urged it to think again before finalising the proposals after the general election in 2015.
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...