U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says his Liberal Democrat party has played a key role in reviving the economy and making coalition government policies fairer, in an interview with the Independent newspaper.
“We need to be unabashed about the fact that we have played a vital, even pivotal, role in saving the British economy and a leading role in providing fairness in the tax, education and skills systems and greening our economy for the future,” he said in a report published as the party conference starts today.
The conference, under the slogan “Stronger Economy, Fairer Society,” will seek to set the tone for the 2015 general election with attacks on the opposition Labour Party and Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.
Clegg defended the coalition’s economic policies as “not an act of fiscal masochism” but a measured and stable approach. While the economy has a long way to go, “we have turned a corner and passed through the darkest hour,” which wouldn’t have been possible if the Liberal Democrats hadn’t been in government with the Conservatives, he said.
“We need to explain that this country would be very different indeed -- in my view a lot less fair -- if the Conservatives had been left to their own devices,” he said.
The Liberal Democrat conference runs until Sept. 18 in Glasgow, Scotland. Delegates will debate motions on policies ranging from the economy and tax to pornography and cycling.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lucy Meakin in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.