‘Never say sorry,’ Clegg tells party

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DEPUTY PM Nick Clegg has urged grassroots Liberal Democrat activists to ‘never apologise’ for the choices his party is making in government.

The Sheffield Hallam MP told delegates at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham: “Hold your heads up and look our critics squarely in the eye.

“This country would be in deep trouble today if we had not gone into government last year. And Britain will be a fairer nation tomorrow because we are in government today.

“Never apologise for the difficult things we are having to do. We are serving a great country at a time of great need. There are no shortcuts, but we won’t flinch.”

In his end-of-conference speech, the Lib Dem leader insisted his party remained a strong, unified group with a distinct identity.

“Our values are strong, our instincts are good - reason not prejudice, compassion not greed, hope not fear,” he said.

As record borrowing figures intensified the economic gloom facing the country, Mr Clegg said there was still a ‘long, hard road ahead’.

But he insisted the worsening crisis underlined the wisdom of signing up to the Tories’ tough cuts.

He told activists it would ‘all be worth it in the end’.