Controversy over Clegg radio show

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SheffIELD MP Nick Clegg is to take part in a weekly radio phone-in – but has been criticised because it will be in London.

The Liberal Democrat Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister will spend half an hour on LBC radio every Thursday morning, when he will take calls from listeners.

He said: “I’m doing this because I don’t think politicians get to hear enough from people directly.

“You can’t do the right thing in government unless you keep in touch with how people are thinking and feeling.”

However, Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, said: “It’s extraordinary that Mr Clegg is trying to reconnect with voters by launching a weekly phone-in with radio listeners in London. What a snub to people in the city he’s supposed to represent.

“Perhaps he’s scared about what they’d have to say to him about the way his Government’s unfair policies are hitting our city. Families in Sheffield feeling the squeeze and worried about cuts to their tax credits will also ask whether Mr Clegg’s time would be better spent doing his day job and tackling the economy and rising costs of living caused by his and Prime Minister David Cameron’s policies.”

Mr Clegg’s spokesman said the show could be heard across the country on the internet and listeners from Sheffield could still participate.