Nick Clegg was in combative mood on the Andrew Marr show earlier this morning; he railed against the press and the Daily Mail in particular. It wasn’t exactly an illuminating session, but here are some highlights:
Clegg on the Mail:
“Can I put this mildly? I really wouldn't believe a word you read in the Daily Mail. This is the paper that called me a Nazi. They and other papers have got a bee in their bonnet about the coalition. They come up with drivel every single day. I'm in this because I believe it's the right thing to do...I want to see us succeed in the coalition and beyond...Miriam supports me...”
Clegg on his leadership:
“Absolutely. I intend to serve well beyond one term. There you go. Daily Mail wrong.”
Clegg on the 50p rate:
“I don't think it is morally or economically right to unilaterally lower the tax burden on the very wealthiest when we have not made much more progress, as I want us to, lowering taxes for millions of people on ordinary incomes...If the 50p does not raise money, as we had hoped, from the very wealthy, then of course we need to look at other ways to make sure that they pay their fair share.”
Clegg on the economy:
“Through these innovations like the green investment bank, yes there is new money. We calculate about £18bn of new money will go into building…renewable energy infrastructure during this parliament. That is not to be sniffed at. Only £3bn of that is taxpayers' money. We use that money to then make sure that the private sector secures other money.”
Clegg on the Liberal Democrats:
"We are the party of the head and of the heart"
Clegg on the Eurozone and the EU:
"The big picture is that if the Eurozone, as I hope they will, stabilise things by basically getting their act together and integrating a bit further in certain ways...The last thing we should do is say ‘in that case, we wash our hands of the whole enterprise – that will destroy jobs, that destroy prosperity in this country'...The Eurozone is essential."