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Call Clegg: As It Happened - 24th January 2013

Thursday 24th January 2013

Nick Clegg has been answering LBC listeners' questions in the third of his historic radio shows this morning - here is how it went.

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The Deputy Prime Minister became the first senior minister to have a weekly radio phone-in when he is on Call Clegg with Nick Ferrari.

Here are the key moments of Call Clegg.


9.33 - On Chelsea ball boy being possibly kicked by player. NC: "my early judgement - and you are going to think this is terrible fence sitting - I think they are both at fault. They both apologised to each other. [The player] absolutely shouldn't have done what he did but if you look at the pictures [The ball boy] was covering the ball which must be frustrating."

9.31 - Rachel in Bexley, surely you have to make the decision about you're son soon? NC "We'll make the decision in the next few months but when I do I'm sure I'll tell you Nick [Ferrari]."

9.29 - Christina wants him to commit to a maximum 20% ownership in the media. NC: "I am adamant that we should 'Do Leveson'. The idea that you can take a percentage and that it works in all circumstances is not one that Leveson backed. I can't reinvent a report that everyone has backed. Our task is to implement Leveson."

9.27 - Says they are going to start going for people who may not be doing anything illegal but are doing things that are morally questionable with tax.

9.26 - "The biggest step towards simplifying the tax system raising point that you pay interest to over 9,400, I think making things simper and fairer go hand in hand."

9.25 - On if he will send his children to a private school or state? "They are educated at the moment in the state sector - I'm a father before I'm a politician. I will never begrudge people to put their child in the best school they can. I have never said that I am going to make a political issue of my child's education. I want the best for him. The same as most people listening to this programme." He refused to be pushed on the issue

9.23 - NC: "That's not our intention! Life expectation is changing and we are just looking at and assessing it regularly. Making sure people have a decent period off time in retirement but we also move with the times and bear in mind that the pension age is set at an age when people didn't live as long."

9.21 - Michael, Marylebone: "At the moment you're in the process of raising the state pension age and I've heard the coalition's intention to raise it again to 73. I think you want all the pensioners to die off before they can draw it!"

9.18 - NC on mansion tax: "my whole purpose in politics is to build a stronger economy in a fairer society and one way to do this is to ask people at the top to chip in in this difficult time. [One way to do this is] you have to ask people in very, very high value properties to chip in 1% over the value of 2 million."

9.16 - NC: says parties will need to be clear on their stance on this at the next election and promises the Lib Dems will be. "I do think regardless of how much money you generate it quite important for symbolic reasons that everyone sees we're all in it together - even for millionaire pensioners."

9.15 - NC: "I got into controversy some months ago by saying why should we be giving millionaires be getting a free bus pass when we are asking others to tighten their belts?"

9.14 - Neil, Gatwick: "how do you feel about means testing winter fuel allowance?"

9.14 - "The Prime Minister is free to make a speech as Conservative leader. I wouldn't second guess his decision to make it."

9.13 - Admits he doesn't agreed with the timing of David Cameron's speech - agrees it is was a politically motivated decision by the PM due to the pressures of his party

9.13 - Did you agree with the timing and content of EU speech and how will you make sure the public hear a balanced view on the EU rather than the 'drip drip drip' of Eurosceptism? NC: "I like to think that over the last two of week more people have hear that one in ten jobs are estimated to be dependent on being part of the EU. I also hope people have come to realise that if you want to keep our streets free from drug traffickers, people traffickers you need to have relationships with police across borders. There is safety in numbers."

9.10 - On having missed a meeting with the Queen for the fourth time: "I am Lord President of the Privy Council - would you believe it. On that occasion I was giving evidence. We agreed that on this occasion my place would be taken by someone else. It is a great honour to be there and very occasionally my place is taken by someone else and Buckingham Palace has been very supportive."

9.08 - Callum - "how can you claim to be against discrimination if you don't want a Catholic Monarch?" NC: because they are the head of the Church of England. The one person of faith a monarch can't marry is a Catholic - that bit we are changing as well as changing that a female child can't be the heir."

9.06 - "The things people worry more about are jobs, crime on their streets. How are you going to do that [if you are distracted by Europe]"

9.06 - "We think radically differently on a number of issues," he said on his relationship with David Cameron. "It's normal in politics, it's normal in coalition politics."

9.04 - On if he'd ever form another coalition: "I will follow the instructions of the British people. If a coalition is necessary we will play our part. I will always play a responsible role - at political cost - to fulfill the needs of the public."

9.03 - Where does Nick Clegg stand on a referendum. "There should be a referendum when the UK is for new powers. The underling issue is still the same - should we lead in the EU or should we be marginalised from it?"