A row erupts above the Lib Dems, while Nick Clegg insists that the party must apologize for the coalition with Tories

Divisions have been at the top of the Liberal Democrats above her record in the coalition government, as Nick Clegg said the party can not go around licking his wounds & # 39; lick & # 39 ;.

Despite a plea from Jo Swinson – one of the favorites to be the next leader – to have "the failures" of the Party's time in the government, the former Deputy Prime Minister said he "emphatically" believed that he right decisions had taken office.

In her speech to the party deputies who had gathered in Brighton for the autumn conference, the deputy leader said the party should have done more to stop the hostile environmental approach to immigration from Theresa May and prevent the introduction of the "punitive" bedroom tax.

The party had been "too nice", she said, and had agreed to compromises in her power distribution agreement with David Cameron who was "bad."

But when asked about Ms. Swinson's comments at a fringe event in Brighton, Sir Nick said he was proud of & # 39; was at his service and added: "You can not hang around constantly while licking your wounds".

"I do not agree with this opportunity with Jo," he said.

He said it was not because of any "naivety" about the coalition government, but claimed that there is currently a left-wing "narrative" hung around the neck of the Lib Dems that was "false".

"The story is that you ended up in government, you sold your soul, and then you were just happily joining a savage, ideological, uncompromising approach to austerity that deliberately punished the poor." It is simply not true, "he said to an applause of deputies.

He continued: "One of the golden rules of politics is not to say things that reinforce the story of your opponents – not by the way it was a tainted government, of course not, all governments do good things, bad things, make mistakes, etc. . "

He said that every reasonable person looking at the 2010-2015 period – in the light of the financial crash of 2008 and "Labor's unpardonable failure to regulate banks properly" – the coalition government would see "stood out as a relatively stable, moderate government ".

"We have to be proud of that," he added. He claimed that he and others were catching up with the plans of the conservatives to implement austerity "massively".

Sir Nick said: "I felt comfortable, if someone feels at ease with all the decisions you make in a government of which you are a part – of course not, but you can not go around all the time, lick your wounds nine years later you came in the government and said well that we do not like this or that.

"What is the country going to think? They want to hear if we speak in general terms and think that we have made the right decisions and I emphatically emphasize that that is the case."

During the event in the margins, Sir Clegg also told deputies that he can not be the British Macron – referring to the En Marche movement by French President Emmanuel Macron, which was established in 2016 as a new pro-EU party and the following year to victory was swept.

"I would like to think that a British Macron would come across the horizon and save us all from the Brexit," he said.

"But the secret of these breakthrough characters is that they arrive relatively unloaded by luggage."

Sir Nick presented his story when a former vice premier excluded him from a comeback in Macron style. "I can not claim that you can suddenly lose all that luggage and get a completely new start," he said.

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