23 Sep 2012

Ed Davey denies he is after Clegg’s job

In an interview with Cathy Newman at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Energy Secretary Ed Davey gives support to leader Nick Clegg, denying reports he is part of a secret plot to replace him.

Ed Davey told Channel 4 News that he is fully behind Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg despite reports that he is “deadly serious” about a leadership challenge.

The Liberal Democrat energy secretary instead told Cathy Newman: “Nick Clegg is the best leader we have ever had…Nick will take us into the next election and beyond, and if you want a stronger statement of support I don’t think you’ll find one.”

He then described himself as a member of the “Praetorian Guard” around Clegg, referring to the bodyguards of the Roman emperors.

Responding to the report in the Daily Mail, he said wresting the leadership off Nick Clegg was “not what I believe or what I’m trying to do.”

The leadership debate has flared up at the party conference in Brighton after a new poll suggested Mr Clegg was less popular than Vince Cable as a prospective Lib Dem leader.

He also laughed off suggestions that he would have to slim down if he ever did want a tilt at the top job.

“That’s a matter between me and my wife,” he said.

“I would take that with a pinch of salt – and a glass of red wine.”

Gary Gibbon In Conversation with Ed Davey

Our Political Editor Gary Gibbon will spend an hour in open conversation on Monday between 1pm and 2pm

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