Tuesday 13 December 2011 by Spacey

EU treaty veto is bad for UK jobs, but breaking the coalition would be bad for mine, reveals Clegg


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed that despite his dismay over David Cameron’s veto of changes to the EU treaty, the most important thing is that he keeps his job as deputy prime minister.

Mr Clegg, who was absent from the Commons on Monday when the prime minister updated MPs on Friday’s EU summit, is among several high profile Liberal Democrats who are concerned that breaking the coalition would leave them facing a future of occasional appearances on Question Time.

Senior Lib Dems have defended Mr Clegg’s absence from the briefing and have insisted their differences with Conservatives over European policy will not hamper his ability to sit behind David Cameron and nod occasionally during future Commons statements.

“Nick is a first rate nodder,” insisted Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes.

“The Liberal Democrats joined the coalition in the national interest. We did so to deliver a coalition in which we hold a key role of sitting in the background and nodding our heads.”

“Nick felt that not attending yesterday’s commons briefing was the right thing to do because he’d cricked his neck, and couldn’t nod to the high standards that everyone has become accustomed to.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, also hit back at suggestions that the coalition’s future was in doubt.

“I’m a Liberal Democrat?”

“Shit!” he said.

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