Clegg conference protester arrested

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A SOUTH Yorkshire man is due to appear in court today after he was arrested trying to unfurl a massive protest banner at Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrat party conference.

The 21-year-old, from Doncaster, was arrested with two others after scaling a bridge near the Birmingham ICC.

As the men climbed the bridge, some debris fell into the road below, police said. They will appear before magistrates in Birmingham charged with causing a danger to road users.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Hallam MP and Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg has tried to quell disquiet among his party grassroots by promising to beat ‘ruthless’ and ‘extreme’ forces among his Conservative allies.

He underlined a new aggressive approach to his coalition partners by describing the Tories as ‘political enemies’ and said he was fighting ‘tooth and nail’ for the party’s values behind the scenes.

As the Liberal Democrats slump to just 11 per cent in the latest opinion polls, Mr Clegg promised the party conference he would not ‘make it easy’ for David Cameron’s Conservatives.

He said: “We are prepared to be awkward. We are not here to make things easy. We’re here to put things right.”

“We didn’t win the election so we can’t do everything we want to, but we are doing a remarkable amount.

“Make no mistake - we are punching above our weight. This coalition Government has a distinct Liberal Democrat voice and you will hear it.

“But we can’t have all our fights in public. While times are hard, while people are struggling, the last thing people want is to see the nation’s leaders squabbling and points-scoring.”