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Nick Clegg follows Nigel Farage to Bath but stays out of the pub after Gloucestershire visit

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

  • Nick Clegg was in Gloucestershire and Bath yesterday, though his media handlers kept him clear of any pubs

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Unkind wits might ask just what have the region's pub done to deserve it?

For several days after Ukip leader Nigel Farage was asked to stop using a Bath hostelry as a film location on the election trail, Nick Clegg treated a Gloucestershire inn to a visit.

The Deputy Prime Minister's trip was considerably less controversial – though he did stick to the coffee at the Air Balloon at Birdlip.

He said the A417 "Missing Link" campaign will be taken "very seriously" by the Government after seeing the problems caused by the notorious stretch of road first hand.

Mr Clegg's visit came just days after the Highways Agency announced the stretch is on a list of roads in the South West earmarked for improvement.

While in the West he also clarified his views on knife crime, saying cracking down on knife-wielding criminals by sending them straight to jail is not the most effective way to tackle the issue.

It was reported yesterday that he and other senior Lib Dems are opposed to plans by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to toughen legislation so people caught with knives more than once are jailed automatically.

The Lib Dem leader said he was keen to "avoid mistakes" where "tough sounding gimmicks" did not work.

He said: "I think the debate we are having is a totally normal Whitehall debate about trying to avoid the mistakes of the past where tough sounding sentencing gimmicks were announced but they didn't actually bring knife crime down.

"I don't want to see youngsters go to prison for a few weeks and come out as hardened criminals committing even worse knife crime.

"I do want to see judges have the freedom to impose tough sentences to suit the individual circumstances of the crime. I want to do what works to keep people safe."

He later visited Bath and after Mr Farage's rough ride at The Bell Inn on Tuesday his PR minders were perhaps wise not to stage a photo opportunity in a pub in the city.

Whether a vermin-infested derelict building site presents a better image is though open to debate...

However he was given a tour of the Newark Works in Lower Bristol Road so he could hear more about plans to transform the abandoned former Stothert and Pitt factory into multi-million pound HQ for defence firm BMT.

Prime Minister David Cameron also launched the Conservative campaign for this month's local and European elections yesterday with a warning that only the Tories can deliver economic revival and an in/out referendum on Britain's EU membership.

With his party trailing third behind Labour and the UK Independence Party in polls for the Euro elections on May 22, Mr Cameron denounced Nigel Farage's party as "all talk and no delivery" and dismissed Labour as "all short-term gimmicks and no long-term plan". Launching the Tory campaign at a JCB construction vehicle plant in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Mr Cameron took aim at his rivals: "Frankly I don't need to discredit Ukip – they do a good enough job themselves. Their own leader admits they 'cannot change a thing in Brussels'." Ahead of polls taking place in local councils across England, the Prime Minister said that the effects of recovery were being seen in all parts of the country.

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  • StanStill  |  May 04 2014, 7:05AM

    Clegg is the biggest 'waste of space' ever, an apologist for all that is wrong with the EU. He would be the leader of the 4th party in the UK if he hadn't joined the Tory shower. He is power crazy and just loves himself too bits.

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  • eurosceptic  |  May 03 2014, 1:05PM

    Clegg is a follower. Farage is a leader.

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