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Nick Clegg's Oxford question and answer forum, hosted by the Oxford Mail
Updated 10:22pm Tuesday 20th May 2014 in News
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- And to round it all off, he talks the future of his leadership with the Liberal Democrats and human rights and homophobia before his wrap-up remarks
- The City Deal and business involvement for Oxfordshire, and military intervention overseas plus Syria are the subjects in clip five
- In this fourth clip he debates wooing Labour voters in Oxford West & Abingdon and climate change
- In this third clip he discusses compromise in the Coalition
- In this second clip he discuss Jeremy Hunt, the NHS and the Russia and Ukraine crisis
Good evening. We have now got the audio recording of the session edited and available in bite-size chunks for you.
- On May 20, 2014, deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg held a question and answer session hosted by the Oxford Mail. In this first clip are the opening remarks and a question about whistleblowers
Of course there was a quick photo opp
It ended with someone believed to be from a TV programme rushing up as Mr Clegg left in what was a stunt. He was quickly bundled away by security.
Asked the last question about working against homophobia, Mr Clegg says he is committed to human rights on that and other issues. He brings it back the future of where Britain is going and being positive about that.
I think we should look forwards not backwards he says and with that it is over.
It's not a bad record, he says, talking about the coalition record of the Lib Dems.
2010 was a time the country was on the edge, he says, and some people forget that.
We were the Government to clean up that mess and because the country was creating less money, it couldn't spend what it was.
He has been asked about the future of his leadership.
Onwards and upwards, he replies. Support due to coalition has decreased but he says big decisions have been vindicated and now is not the time to buckle.
Parliament didn't agree and Mr Clegg says there is now scrutiny of proposals for military action.
Magdalen College School has several pupils here. One is asking about how Iraq and Afghanistan is going to impact on future peacekeeping.
The appetite has decreased internationally because of the invasion of Iraq. He admits he was persuaded to take action in Syria because chemical weapons are morally abhorrent.
On the City Deal for Oxfordshire to ask for greater powers granted to local councils. County council Lib Dem leader Zoe Patrick asking why local enterprise partnership dealing with it has non-elected people on it.
That is to make sure local businesses are fully involved on local growth plans. Businesses create a lot of jobs so getting them sat around the table is critical, he said.
Talking about climate change he says there are Consevatives who don't believe in Green policies. He says he has spent more of his time in Government arguing over climate change.
I'm doing my best, he says.
Please keep going, the audience member says.
I will if you let me, he answers.
I do hope you'll vote for Layla next year, he adds, as he takes the open door opportunity to push his Oxford West and Abingdon prospective candidate.
Where the overlap with left is progressive methods to improve people's lives. These are good progressive changes, he says. He admits he was not happy with some cuts to "balance the books" for the economy but a big black hole could not be left for future generations to pay back.
He says the Liberals look after individuals. He highlights the pupil premium as an example of the type of policy he has worked to bring in.
A Labour supporter in West Oxford saying why should he vote Lib Dem in a constituency where Labour can't get in.
Mr Clegg says the Lib Dems will not mimic left of the Labour Party just to win votes. It is its own party.
"I just sometimes marvel at idea that compromise is not inevitable if you have a coalition," he says.
He says his party have delivered things that they could never have done in opposition.
You have to be grown up and compromise with each other, he says.
On tuition fees he says if coalition with Labour or Conservatives the Liberal Democrats could not block it.
He points out the Liberal Democrats do not have the right to deliver its manifestio "because we didn't win. If you want our manifesto then you have to vote for the Liberal Democrats. We came third."
He's outlining some of the Tory policies the Liberal Democrats have blocked.
What is more likely: England World Cup win or Liberal Democrat electoral success.
He says he has faith in both.
Mr Clegg's children are Arsenal fans, he adds.
Question about the EU and foreign policy. How can the EU handle the Ukraine crisis without damaging Russian gas supply to western countries.
Mr Clegg said Ukraine's change of government has been a big blow to Vladimir Putin. It is in Russia's own interest to recognise Ukrainians want to assert their own nationhood. All that will happen if not, will be ongoing and grinding conflict.
It is in the long term economic interests of Russia to stand back because other countries rely on its energy exports. Those countries may look to wean themselves in the long run off those supplies.
A student is criticising Jeremy Hunt and being health secretary following his handling of the BSkyB takeover bid.
Mr Clegg says his handling of BSkyB is a separate matter to his handling of the NHS.
First question is a lady asking about protection for whistleblowers. She says she has been a whistleblower in the past. She delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street.
Mr Clegg said there are greater protections for whistleblowers but that one of ways to hold powerful to account is that people should not be ignored. People should have the confidence that they will be heard.
He says to have a debate about the details but he believes Britain as a country is more prosperous and safer when engaged with other countries.
Now we're into the questions.
He admits there are improvements needed with the EU but there are myths about it too.
Before the questioning though he is commenting about this week's European elections. They have been unnoticed in the past but this year there is finally a big fundamental debate about whether we should be in the EU or not. It's a debate long overdue, he said.
Mr Clegg says to pepper him with as many questions as possible.
There are about 140 people present.
We are just a few minutes away from the start of the session.
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