UK Politics

Nick Clegg reveals he was given a 'big green onesie'

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Media captionNick Clegg: "I was given a onesie but it's still in its packaging"

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has admitted he was given a "big green onesie" as a present - but that he has never worn it.

The Lib Dem leader was appearing on his first weekly radio phone-in show on the London-based talk radio station LBC.

He was asked the question by a caller from his constituency in Sheffield.

Mr Clegg said the garment was still in its packaging but joked that if he was to ever wear it, it would be in the "privacy" of his home.

Downing Street later refused to say whether the Prime Minister owns a onesie - an all-in-one garment which is a sort of adult version of a baby's sleepsuit.

His official spokesman said he "wasn't getting in to the habit of answering those kinds of things".

Mr Clegg's revelation came at the end of the first of a series of weekly phone-ins, which will take place every Thursday on LBC 97.3 for half an hour.

Difficult decisions

One caller, a former Lib Dem councillor, told Mr Clegg he had torn up his membership card after nearly 40 years because he was "ashamed of the party".

But Mr Clegg said he was "immensely proud" of the Liberal Democrats joining the coalition, insisting that the party had delivered on some key policies.

He said he would not "paper over the difficult decisions" but maintained the party had had several victories in government, including more apprenticeships and more free childcare.

The Liberal Democrat leader defended cuts to child benefit, under questioning from another caller, saying it had been a "difficult decision" but essential to cutting the deficit.

He said means-testing the benefit would have been too bureaucratic and complicated.

On tuition fees, Mr Clegg stopped short of saying it was one of his biggest political regrets, but said he regretted that it was a pre-election promise which the party could not deliver on.

The deputy PM also revealed which Conservative Cabinet member he would most like to go for a drink with - Ken Clarke; although he declined to answer which Tory politician he most admired.

Labour accused Mr Clegg of "hiding" from his constituents after taking part in the phone-in on a London-based radio and not in his home city.

The shadow leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, claimed in the Commons that the Sheffield Hallam MP had "refused to appear" on BBC Radio Sheffield to answer questions about the impact of government cuts on his own constituency.

But the Liberal Democrats said Ms Eagle's claims were incorrect.

An aide said Mr Clegg could not take part at the times requested and it was later agreed he would appear on Friday morning to answer listeners' questions.

They said that Nick Clegg had taken part in a number of phone-in programmes for the radio station.

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