When you’re the leader of a party currently involved in a coalition government, there’s scrutiny on everything you say. So when Nick Clegg was asked about the Nigella Lawson-Charles Saatchi controversy, his PR people must have been quaking in their boots.
And that quaking was fully justified, as the The Lib Dem leader managed to fluff it right up, saying it was a “difficult question” because he did not know what had happened. That’s fair enough, really, but this? “I just don’t know, there was this one photograph, I don’t whether that was just a fleeting thing…or…I’m at a loss to be able to put myself in to that position without knowing exactly.” Yeah, this got him in trouble, mainly on Twitter. The End Violence Against Women Coalition tweeted: “Reported response of Nick Clegg about whether he’d have intervened in Saatchi violence is terrible - need leadership from politicians.” Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston tweeted: “So just don’t ‘call Clegg’ if your partner likes to grab you by the throat to emphasise a point.” Lib Dem president Tim Farron said: “All of us have got to be careful with our language.
Mr Clegg later insisted in a statement that “I completely condemn all forms of domestic violence” and that “as I said on the radio, my instinct would always be to try and protect the weaker person” He added: “But I was asked a very specific question about how I would have reacted to a specific incident which I did not see.”
Nick Clegg with his coalition buddy David Cameron, and Doreen Lawrence
Nigella signing copies of her popular cookbook, Nigelissima