The Sketch: As the other boys bicker, Clegg just bites his lip

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The Independent Online

You have high concerns but the Sketch is here to tell you about Nick Clegg's masticated lip. You will go elsewhere for the EU's new banking capital requirements, and the trespass on Union property by the breakaway group of 26. Here, it's all about the Liberal Democrat leader's moosh.

What a nice welcome he got from Labour. A cheer's a cheer, even one like that. He sat down as if posing for his portrait. His face a new shade of grey, possibly a little greyer than usual. His brow never cleared. The poor fellow was only intermittently there. You could see him drifting off into that happy place where unhappy people go.

In Cabinet office questions it had been pointed out that he had just got four new special advisers. And this allowed the question everyone's asking to be asked again: "What's the point of Nick Clegg?"

Ed Miliband started on unemployment figures. Cameron gave the usual answers. Ed started sawing away in that way he has: "He's broken his promise! He's betrayed a generation of young people!"

And that, Clegg seemed to take personally. The lip biting began. The full depth of his lower lip taken into his upper mouth. Latterly he started chewing it, like gum. I tried biting my lip to feel what it might mean. It's what boys do when they realise they've done something wrong and are waiting for the consequences. An "Oh no! Oh God! Oo-er!" sort of grimace.

Ed Miliband tried irony. It was fatal. "He promised a whole new style of government – a collegiate style. I'm bound to ask: what went wrong?"

Labour whooped. But Cameron said: "It's well known we don't agree on everything about Europe but..." Oh, the savouring of that moment, "It's not as if we're brothers." Labour choked. Tories sang an Ode to Joy.

It didn't cheer Nick up for long. In the lip went. "Oh no, oh God, oh no."

Chris Huhne – it is worth reporting – looked marvellously unworried. At the end Nick gave a great heaving sigh and walked out the opposite way from Cameron.

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