"We should have no preference at the next election between the Tories and Labour and other parties. We are going to stand on our own."
"Our party is committed constitutionally to standing in every seat. We will be standing in every seat at the next election. There will be no deals, there will be no pacts…"
It seems unlikely to me that Nick Clegg is as certain as his deputy leader about how the next election will operate. But he can't hit back, lest it be taken as a sign the Lib Dems are going to bind themselves even more tightly to the Tories. So, in the meantime, Hughes gets free rein to act as the "voice" of the Lib Dem footsoldiers.