March 26th, 2014

Clegg Denies Inappropriate Use of Civil Service for Debate Prep

Has Nick Clegg been using civil service resources for party political preparation for tonight’s debate against Nigel Farage? He is not appearing at the LBC Debate in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister rather, as a LibDem spokesman told Guido this morning: “Tonight is the leaders’ debate so Nick is appearing as the Leader of of the Liberal Democrat Party”. It’s a very political event…

As Deputy Prime Minister Clegg is allowed to request factual briefings on government policy whenever he likes, yet sources familiar with the situation have indicated to Guido that they believe he has strayed beyond this and into party political territory. “He’s asking for all sorts of things, beyond government policy on Europe”, one told Guido this morning. It is believed by some that the briefings have been prepared to back up attack lines on UKIP –  a big no, no for civil servants.

Nick Clegg’s spokesman denies that they have done anything wrong, but did confirm that civil servants have briefed the DPM for this specific political event:

“Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister as well as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is regularly briefed on all aspects of Government policy, including Europe, before public appearances, such as DPMQs or Call Clegg on LBC. It is very likely that during the debates he be asked about Coalition Government policies and the relationship between the British Government, of which he is Deputy Prime Minister, and the European Union. To that end, he has been given factual briefings and facts and figures on Coalition Government policy and how the EU works in relation to Britain. But the briefings for the debates are being done by political advisers and HQ staff.”

Guido has requested a copy of all the debate preparation from the Cabinet Office under the Freedom of Information Act.

It is worth noting that the ‘General Principle’ of the Ministerial Code states:

“Facilities provided to Ministers at Government expense to enable them to carry out their official duties should not be used for Party or constituency work.”

Point 6.3 makes things a little clearer:

“Official facilities and resources may not be used for the dissemination of material which is essentially party political.”

Should it emerge that Clegg used civil servant briefings on issues beyond government policy on Europe to prepare for tonight’s debate then Guido cannot see how he has not fallen foul of this point. 

 


133 Comments

  1. 1
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Boring.

    Like

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Blimey – UKIP supporters are that worried they’ve had to resort to smearing that it’s unfair that Clegg has facts at hand?

    Like

    • 7
      lojolondon says:

      Don’t feed the paid Troll -

      Like

      • 9
        Havocman says:

        He gets paid for that shit?

        Like

      • 22
        Anonymous says:

        Poor Kippers- frightened of Clegg.

        Like

        • 113
          Anonymous says:

          tosser

          Like

        • 114
          JAC says:

          What I find funny is that the name calling strategy including trolls has only PUT UP UKIP membership in contrast to ALL other parties. Some people are so immersed in the smearing of a new front in politics they have yet to address the issues they are facing in future. Privatized NHS means insurance policies, Privatized Mountain Rescue means insurances, Privatized Coastguard means insurances…so, please trolls and LIBLABCON associates feel free to believe Syria is about freedom…not about creating insecurity and destabilizing economies so private security companies can get big contracts. It is farcical that these people are allowed to walk the streets alone. Worse still that they think THEY have a handle on what is happening when none of them do anything but toe the party line. So inept to think for themselves that they laugh at someone asking questions. Laugh away troll and laugh away party die hards…joke is entirely on you for believing the spin.

          Like

          • Teh Grauniad says says:

            Mountain rescue, like the RNLI is run by volunteers. That’s why a) it works b) it’s cheap c) it doesn’t have slimy twats like the diseased Chris Smith slurping vast sums for gross incompetence.

            Like

    • 28
      Socialism is theft says:

      You think it fair that one side of the debate should have all the government facts at hand and the other side should be denied them. A true Liblabcon mutton-head if ever I saw one.

      Like

      • 37
        Anonymous says:

        The facts are there for anyone. No one is preventing the Kipper team from finding things out.

        Clearly, worried enough that they need to smear before the off.

        Like

      • 43
        Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the Kipper problem is that the facts don’t support their argument. Ergo, best claim it’s unfair to use facts.

        Like

    • 74
      Neck Cligg says:

      I know I promised to vote against tuition fees, but how else can we fund the £4 billion a year increase in overseas aid?

      Like

      • 91
        Anonymous says:

        Oversees aid is like bankers bonuses – an apparently infinite sum that can be used to fund any other public spending pet cause.

        Like

        • 103
          Tastebud Tony says:

          Or be taken off the amount that we keep on overspending. But then you don’t care about that. Mind you, I don’t either! I get £2Million/year for doing a job that I don’t even do! I just tell them all the Government Secrets I know and peoples’ whose palms to grease! Wonderful!

          Like

    • 104
      Jabba Le Chat says:

      Like

      • 117
        Im paid by the EU, CCHQ and BBC to spread smears about UKIP says:

        Your old handler at MI5 said you were a bit of a physco Jabba which is why you were asked to leave wasn’t it…

        Now I thought we had agreed to a bit of common decency and even I, who is running this smear told you not to use that photo because it makes us look vindictive, cruel, it’s in bad taste. And above all is counter productive and will simply highlight our bullying and smearing. It will push the public towards Nigel. Not away from him.

        Note to accounts, deduct 1 days pay from Jabba for insubordination.

        Like

      • 132
        Anonymous says:

        Please make cheques payable to the Jabba La Chat scottish mental health funds, Thank you

        Like

  3. 3
    Sally Bercow says:

    Where can I find one of these energy firms who David Cameron says are cutting bills?

    Like

    • 124
      Reality Bytes says:

      Try Scottish Power, they’ve promised a cut soon – but it’ll have to wait for an increase to go through first.

      Like

  4. 4
    jgm2 says:

    Poor old Nick is going to need all the help he can get.

    Bless him.

    Like

    • 12
      Billy Big says:

      More like F*** Him!

      Clogg IS a paid Euro Troll intent on selling this country down the swaneee.

      Like

    • 41
      SleeplessInKirkcaldy says:

      He’s only making plans for Nigel

      Like

    • 56
      still walking into darkness says:

      Kelvin McKenzie summed up the pro EU debate on LBC this morning. He said it was unthinkable for the UK to leave the EU, typical that, he says it’s ‘unthinkable’ but then didn’t go on to say ‘why’. He went on to say that Nick Clegg was ‘ a really nice bloke’ and some sort of intellectual heavyweight and would therefore wipe the floor with Farage. What has being ‘a really nice bloke’ or not got to do with whether we’re in the EU. Is old Kelvin under the employ of the EU or elsehow engaged financially with Clegg?
      The pro EU lobby never talk facts, why, because there aren’t any. Hence, Farage just needs to be himself

      Like

  5. 5
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP

    Like

  6. 6
    lojolondon says:

    Off with his head!!

    Like

  7. 8
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Miliband bragged about SES freezing energy prices during PMQ’s. What Miliband didn’t say was that SES will shed 600 jobs, and shelve the construction of 3 off shore wind farms.
    Miliband delivers another kiss of death.

    Like

  8. 10
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Guido, take note of comment 8. You are either in front of idnnd or behind.

    Like

  9. 11
    nell says:

    It’s all irrelevant anyway – neither Farage nor cleggie are going to win the majority vote in the eu election – especially cleggie! so why are we the taxpayers funding civil servants research and briefing time to prepare him for this eu ‘debate’?

    I for one shall not be watching – I’m too busy designing a new applique cushion for YoungNells sitting room.

    Like

  10. 14
    Global Warming is a Sham says:

    Ooh – nearly end of March and hail outside.

    Are we going to get snow this Easter ? :-)

    Like

    • 18
      I've got my love to keep me warm says:

      Wouldn’t be the first time. I got snowed in on the Canterbury Plain in the middle of April a few years ago on my way back to the smoke from the west country.

      Like

    • 19
      Koba says:

      We might, it depends on the weather.

      Like

    • 33
      Bread and Circusssesesses's says:

      Nope. A hosepipe ban maybe.

      Like

    • 64
      Weather Watch says:

      The Global warming Dudes seem to obliterate Normal British weather.

      I’ve know snow at Easter several times also in May. While also experienced Heatwaves at those times.

      It’s Britain and our weather is amazingly variable.

      I just wish the climate change children would look at the records as they have no experience to rely on.

      Like

  11. 17
    A Doctor writes.... says:

    Arrogant, stupid and dishonest-no change there, then.

    I hope Farage pisses all over the yellow streak that runs down the back of this creature.

    Like

    • 46
      What a total waste of space the man is says:

      +1

      And Sheffield Hallam complete the circle come the General Election.

      Like

  12. 21
    Dr No(snow) Viner says:

    Oh god no, not again.

    Like

  13. 23
    Doris & Elsey says:

    Has anyone had a look at @SJacksonMP bile laden tweets on twitter? If his Iphone is supplied and funded from public funding recovered by Jackson in terms of #mpsexpenses do the rules allow him to slag off people and retweet Tory hand outs and other party political propaganda ?

    Like

  14. 24
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:

    Balls !! You dirty bastard !

    Like

  15. 25
    Mark Oaten says:

    Time for a plop.

    Like

  16. 29
    Nick Clegg, Thursday 27th March 2014, 9am says:

    I’m Sorry.

    Like

  17. 30
    Sarah Millington says:

    In days of old, when a member of the establishment took a “pension” from a foreign power to do their bidding against their own nations interests, it was called Treason.

    Nick Clegg is bound by oath & coin to a foreign power to do their bidding.

    And we are worried that a few Snivel Servants have been using taxpayers money & resources to prime this quisling?

    Farage will do what he does – talk straight & represent the British peoples majority view.

    Popcorn time.

    Like

    • 42
      Toni Blair, still a gangster says:

      I quite agree

      I take “pensions” from jihadi Gulf Sheikhs, Ukrainian jooish oligarchs and any despots I can find

      I am a super traitor

      Like

    • 82
      Ewe Choobs says:

      Yes! Our representatives in Parliament should be home grown and bred British – chuck all these immigrants and foreigners out. How we run our country is none of their fucking business. If they don’t like it here they can effoff back where they came from.

      Like

      • 94
        Im paid by the EU, CCHQ and BBC to spread smears about UKIP says:

        Ewe Choobs is one of our boys. A bit fresh behind the ears and enthusiastic, but he will get better when he has finished his joint Lyn ton Cr0sby and Common Purpose designed propoganda training course.

        Like

      • 111
        Jack Ketch says:

        That includes the Irish and any Scots and Taffs not representing seats in those countries.

        Like

  18. 31
    C O (Ξ7i) says:

    Cameron’s address on Ukraine is really going nowhere.

    He should be much more focused on the UK’s position, and NATO.

    The EU is irrelevant.

    Like

    • 40
      Polly Toynbee says:

      I have an address in Tuscany.

      Like

    • 45
      Arm chair General says:

      The UK, of course, will send 3 fighters to sightsee in Poland

      They will have a huge impact on world affairs

      Come on, dear, try and be serious

      Like

      • 54
        C O (Ξ7i) says:

        The Polish are ahead of the game. They have increased their defence spending quite a bit.

        Unlike the dimwit in No. 10, they know exactly what is going down.

        Like

        • 65
          Tom Lehrer says:

          What goes up must come down

          So said Wernher von Braun…

          The Poles are lovely people who have suffered terribly

          But are not even a regional player

          No Russian troop threat to Poland AT ALL

          They even still rely on Soviet aircraft

          PS you have been reading too much Applebaum neocon fiction

          Like

      • 63
        the mystic mould with the appearance of the face of Jesus says:

        a hypersonic missile is the ultimate suicide bomber

        Like

    • 49
      Victoria Nuland says:

      Fuck the EU.

      Like

    • 50
      Laurent Fabius says:

      As long as Britain protects the billions looted from Ukraine that are sitting in London

      How can anyone take Britain seriously?

      Like

      • 62
        C O (Ξ7i) says:

        That is irrelevant.

        Whilst the UK continues to read from the cloud-cuckoo-land script for foreign policy no one will take the UK seriously.

        Like

        • 72
          Analyst says:

          Why should anyone take a small pimp state like Britain seriously in any way?

          No armed forces to speak of

          Living off borrowed Arab abd Chinese money

          Sanctuary for all the banksters and pillagers of the world

          Highest deficit in G7

          Do get serious please

          Like

          • Mr Tony says:

            Works for me.

            Like

          • The view from Haifa says:

            Do keep up!! Nobody has taken Britain seriously for at least 20 years. The fears (or should that be expectations) of the rest of the world were confirmed the day a one-eyed Scotch mongrel sailed into No 10 completely unopposed. What a load of fucking sheep. Get back to your knitting and cake-making.

            Like

    • 57
      Sergei Lavrov says:

      It’s all over in Ukraine, sunshine

      Kerry and I are now talking about serious things like Syria and Iran

      And NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan

      Britain is not involved in our discussions, for obvious reasons

      Do keep up

      Like

      • 69
        C O (Ξ7i) says:

        Rule #1 in Cold-War negotiations with Russia:

        When they indicate one thing, expect the opposite with 90% certainty.

        Like

        • 85
          The view from Haifa says:

          So, sunshine, are you expecting a full scale invasion of Ukraine in the immediate future?

          Like

  19. 35
    Dodgy D. Laws says:

    A LibDem breeching regulations inappropriately. Whatever next !!!!

    Like

  20. 38
    Paniagua V5.1 says:

    The more pertinent question is, as he is hardly sentient, is who is operating Clegg’s mouth?

    Like

  21. 44
    Fishy says:

    I notice that the BBC is busy censoring news again.

    The Daily Brillo talked of the Farridge / Clegg debate as being ‘next week’…and will be covered by BBC2.

    It was left for Tory MP, Anna Soubry to point out that it was tonight, on Sky. Not a word of response from BBCs finest.

    Like

    • 79
      The BBC speaks to the nation says:

      I noticed that this morning on BBC Breakfast. However……….this lunchtime whilst watching BBC News Channel they had a prom for the debate and said that “The BBC News Channel will be covering the debate live at 7pm” but whay Sky News will make of it with the BBC nabbing their exclusive is anyone’s guess ?

      Like

    • 97
      I'm paid by the EU, CCHQ and the BBC to spread smears about UKIP says:

      Come on… You didn’t think we would honestly promote an EU debate did you…

      There were a lot of discussions at Broadcasting House about how we would completely ignore this.

      Those instructions came from senior management with a three line whip, do not mention the UKIP EU debate.

      Like

  22. 52
    C O (Ξ7i) says:

    Why did Cameron just point out that there is plenty of Shale Gas in the UK, but because of the EU there is no political will for the UK to exploit it.

    Cameron must be a compromised Useful Idiot nonce. How long has he been on the K’remlin’s pay roll ?

    Like

    • 66
      Dave Cameron says:

      My surname was Ikickabollockoff before I changed it to Cameron.

      Like

    • 87
      digdigdigdigdig says:

      WTF does that have to do with the EU? If we want to dig holes in OUR land it is no business of the Commie cvnts across the Channel.

      Like

      • 93
        Anonymous says:

        I’m afraid you are misinformed. Not only do we need their permission to dig holes in our land, we have to pay them extortionate taxes to fill any already here!

        Like

    • 108
      Dr No(snow) Viner says:

      Nothing to do with SamCam’s dad having a wind powered subsidy farm then.

      Like

  23. 59
    Owen Jones says:

    I shall be his neighbour now.

    Hate preacher buys English village hall to broadcast rants to the Middle East http://dailym.ai/1juwuiu

    Like

  24. 60
    Marc de Nadiov says:

    It is essential that the Clegg/Farage debate is not broadcast overseas. We don’t want Johnny Foreigner thinking that these two are a representative cross-section of the British male population.

    Like

    • 73
      Ewe Choobs says:

      Most folk have seen Farage’s put downs in the EU Parliament and will need no further briefing on who they might be.

      Like

  25. 68
    Calamity Clegg, Chief Cockroach says:

    WE’RE ALL IN IT TOGETHER

    Like

  26. 71
    Bill Quango MP says:

    UKIP preparation has been to dig out the last 10 or so Lib Dem election leaflets.

    As the Liberals have u-turned over and over on Europe, Farage can dig into his box of flyers and respond to whatever Clegg says with..

    “You were 100% in favour of a referendum..so much so you engineered a faux protest to storm out of Westminster on..yet now you are 100% opposed..”

    And

    “Ahh..but..in 2005 you were 100% in favor of joining the Euro and in 2010 only 50% and your position day is?..well..who knows! And who even cares..Because whatever your position is today its a certainty it won’t be your position tomorrow..”

    and so on.

    Like

  27. 75
    Nigel Porrige says:

    If that kid gives me any lip I shall kick him in the knackers.

    Like

  28. 76
    Guy News Room says:

    Owen Jones says Archway Road residents will impose no sanctions on Russia over Crimea. Obviously.

    Like

  29. 78
    Liar.Politicians says:

    What do you expect from UK hating Europe Commie Nick Clegg. Shyster.

    Like

  30. 90
    tigerowl says:

    Glad Clegg is using the civil service to get the facts. The debate will be over the facts. Difficult for UKIP and Farage and UKIP supporters to understand that principle. After all, UKIP leaflets are so full of rubbish that if farage uses the same figures in the debate as UKIP do on leaflets, Farage will be shown as just the clown he and his party are. Is Farage going to talk about the EU or now UKIP are losing the discussion over that, start rabbitibg on about migrants, or immigration, or once they lose those debates, UKIP then go on about Health and Safety rules, or Human Rights acts, or even overseas aid.
    UKIP, a party that stands for nothing other than allowing sexists, racists and homophobes a place to vote. Good slogan that for UKIP. Says it like it is.

    Like

    • 100
      UKIPperandProudofit says:

      Dear Tigerowl, I enjoy your candor, and your almost perfect, however insulting assessment of my character; to wit: a sexist, racist, homophobic, thicko who cannot understand your version of the world about us. However I do still intend to enjoy seeing the soft sucker of a LibDem Leader belittled and bewildered by a man of the people, this evening. I’m now supporting UKIP as a paid up member, and will vote with supreme enjoyment each and every time I am called upon to so do. p.s. I was once a Liberal Democrat supporter prior to their un-natural toadying up to the Conservatives, however I have noticed no change as yet in my sexual preferences, nor my attitude to those who are of a different skin colour to myself, or even those who share my pigmentation, however originate in a different part of the world that we all share..

      Like

      • 129
        David says:

        Tigerowl have you come across the very long list of cons, labs, lib dems who have been interviewed, charged, or convicted of sexual rimes over the years.

        Like

      • 130
        David says:

        As Im sure a fair % of the intellicencia on here will see that is should read “crimes”

        Like

    • 106
      peterthepainter says:

      “sexists, racists and homophobes”

      Until I read your comment I was unsure as to whom I should vote for. Now I know, thanks for the guidance. It is UKIP for me.

      Like

    • 107
      U-KIP, We KIP, I'm off for a Kip! says:

      Oww! My eyes!

      Like

    • 120
      Im paid by the EU, CCHQ and BBC to spread smears about UKIP says:

      Grrrrrr… nice one Tiger.
      Don’t forget your expenses on Friday for that trip to Brussels last week to link up with their disinformation team.

      Cheers

      Like

  31. 122
    Colin Shepherd says:

    Cleggy (like all the other ex EU employees is allowed to say anything nasty about the EU or he’ll use his EU pension. This of course applies to the Kinnocks, Mandlesons etc.

    Like

  32. 123
    Hmmm says:

    BBC Radio 4 news at 7 this morning said Clegg challenged Farrage to this debate.

    I felt sure it was the other way round.

    Like

  33. 125
    Anonymous says:

    Clegg says only 7% of our laws governed by the EU, because it says so in the commons library. He should have gone to specsavers! Cos every which way you turn, there’s some ludicrous EU law that prevents you from doing something, like paying farmers not to farm. Our Magna Carter and common law have protected us. One thing’s for sure the EU won’t, what chance do we stand when even the Eurovision Song Contest is biased and votes tactically?

    Like


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