Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has said he wants to stay on as the leader of the Liberal Democrats ‘in all circumstances’ after the General Election.
The Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged ‘all political careers come to an end’, but said he is still full of energy and eager to continue public service.
Mr Clegg told the Sky News Murnaghan programme that his coalition with David Cameron ended with a ‘professional handshake’, and he added that the General Election is about voters deciding who they want alongside Mr Cameron or Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband in Downing Street.
He resisted questions about whether he would stand down as leader if the Liberal Democrats suffer heavy losses in 11 days’ time, or end up on the opposition benches.
Mr Clegg said: “I have bags of energy, I’m really optimistic about the prospect of Liberal Democrats. Of course I want to continue to serve the country and serve my party which I am so proud to have served for seven or eight years now.
“I want to carry on leading my party and I want to lead the Liberal Democrats into Parliament, first with a good, sizeable, significant number of Liberal Democrat MPs.”
He added: “I want to lead the Liberal Democrats into and through the next Parliament in all circumstances.
“At some point, of course, all political careers come to an end.
“It will come to an end and other people will come forward, but all I am focused on at the moment is sounding the alarm about the very, very real risk that as the Labour Party and Conservative Party vacate the centre ground and hare off in which direction after another, there is a very real risk we undo all the sacrifices and hard work that have gone in over the last five years to put the country back on track economically.”