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Call Clegg 28 August

September 4, 2014 8:26 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Watch as Nick Clegg takes your questions live on Call Clegg.


This is LBC Call Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg takes your calls with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. Call 0345 6060973 tweet at lbc973 text 84850. This is Call Clegg on LBC.

NC: It's 9.30 on 28of August and that means it's time for a new season. A new season how about that of Call Clegg with me Nick Clegg here on LBC with of course Nick Ferrari, taking your questions for the next half an hour so if you want to get in touch call on 0345 6060973 or email at nickclegg@lbc.co.uk and as ever you can watch on the website, lbc.co.uk. So let's go straight to the first caller, Andrea in Marylebone. Hello Andrea.

A: Hi I just wondered could you please outline the concrete steps the government is taking to bring the competent authorities to book and to make them accountable for what has happened in Rotherham and similar such cases?

NC: Well firstly they...I think the people who in this harrowing and it really is an utterly harrowing report. I haven't read it all yet but I've read enough of it to feel as sickened as anybody else the suffering of so many children and the blatant neglect by the people who are there to protect them. The people in the council, social service, children's services, the police, who just turned a blind eye, just turned their backs on some of the most vulnerable in society. Those people in the first place should feel a sense of responsibility to accept that they were in positions of authority where they could have protected these children. And this report says very clearly and unambiguously as by the way did a couple of previous reports in previous years that they did not do their job properly. And that's why I, you know, the first thing is that people were...

A: You address the actual question yet?

NC: Well as I said...

A: And I...I'm just asking for what [unclear 00:01:48]...

NC: Well Andrea I know what you're asking and I am answering... It is not...

NF: Okay...let's get... let the Prime Minister give us some background and then we'll move on.

NC: It is not for central government to say to individual...I don't...we don't run Rotherham Council for instance. Rotherham Council is elected by...the councillors are elected by local people. It is run quite rightly by local people. And the officers in Rotherham Council are accountable to the councillors there. So that's why I answered you Andrea directly, which is it...it isn't I'm afraid something where central government can point long finger, as Theresa May said she can't tell the police and crime commissioner who clearly should do the decent thing and stand aside. She can't tell him to do so. All we can do which is what I am doing now which is what I everybody is doing, across parties by the way, is to say please, do the decent thing. Stand aside because you have to take responsibility and then... then let's try with the police of course, South Yorkshire police taking the lead to go after the perpetrators. Because a lot of these perpetrators of this abuse are still walking free.

A: It is not either or, the fact is that the perpetrators were allowed to systematically get with what they did. And the authorities are accountable for that and the government shapes the framework within which the competent authorities are obliged to act or not. So it's not a question of either or. That is why you know you are the law makers and you know there is no point having laws if they are not...if the competent authorities do not actually follow through.

NC: Well that's a slightly different matter about laws isn't it Andrea? Because of course the perpetrators committed terrible crimes. And it's for the police now to take the lead in using this report in as much as they can and the evidence that is still available to them. and of course based, also on the willingness of the many, many victims still to come forward, to go after the perpetrators.

NF: Yes.

NC: You are quite right of course the wheels of justice must now turn. But also as you know that's one of the reasons how law applies to all of this. Why some MPs are saying that criminal law needs to be applied to the role of the police and crime commissioner. So yes you are right the law stands there. But I think the starting point Andrea is that people who were in positions of authority could have protected these children didn't. They should now take responsibility for having failed to do so.

NF: So Shaun Wright should go?

NC: Yes of course.

NF: As you say Deputy Prime Minister. What of Joyce Thacker who is the Director of Children's and Young People's Services when she said and I'm quoting: 'I would put responsibility back on the parents. It's their duty to protect their child and keep them safe. We couldn't be with them 24 hours a day'.

NC: Yeah I mean I...

NF: Is she on to something there?

NC: No I don't think she is because my understanding...

NF: Oh so there is no parental responsibility?

NC: Of course, everybody, every adult who has in their care vulnerable children who were being abused as they were by these gangs, by these individuals of course has a duty. But let's remember a lot of these children...at least that is my understanding of the report. A lot of these children were known to social services already, were know to the police already. In fact a number of the children went to the police pleaded...

NF: As did parents?

NC: Yeah as did parents. So I just think the worst thing, the worst thing now for people who were in positions of responsible is to start appearing at least to pass the buck. You know it's just...it's such an indignity on top of the harrowing abuse that these children have suffered. And also I don't in a way it's a kind of... it gets in the way of what we now want which is the South Yorkshire Police to do the job that they didn't do. And they have apologised that they have failed to do that which is now to listen to the testimony of those children and go after the perpetrators.

NF: Do you have confidence in the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police?

NC: Well I want the South Yorkshire Police now to do the job that they didn't do before.

NF: They seem to be rather more excited in trying to get into Sir Cliff Richard's home in Berkshire. That seems to interest them far more doesn't it?

NC: Well they are coming before a committee of MPs as you know to talk about that as is the BBC. But on this the report could not have been more... It didn't pull its punches and it said very clearly, the police, the council, the children's services, all of those people whose job it was to listen to these children, to protect these children and as I said a lot of these children were know to them already. Didn't do so and there is no excuse for that. No sensitivity around cultural sensitivities are ever an excuse to turn away from very vulnerable children who were being subjected to such harrowing abuse.

NF: Lastly on this for now. There is an idea that a different police force should actually go in there and look at the possibility of prosecuting some of the council officials, possibly even some of the police officers almost on a case of corporate lack of...corporate lack of responsibility. How do you react to that idea?

NC: Well it's an interesting idea because there is always an issue isn't there when an organisation fails in its duties and all organisations...

NF: Spectacularly failed in this one.

NC: And certainly in this case spectacularly failed and is then also the same organisation that is supposed to remedy those failings. And these are not by the way, these are not ancient cases. These are cases which you were going on you know under our very noses in Rotherham over the last several years. So I do think there is a real issue which South Yorkshire Police will need to reflect on the hardest. How do they get in new people with a fresh pair of eyes who can really do the job properly and then feel that they have got absolutely no vested interest at all in somehow sort of not going to the nth degree to find out what happened and to deliver justice?

NF: Let's move on to other callers. Deputy Prime Minister.

NC: Stuart in Holborn. Stuart?

S: Good morning. It's good to have you back.

NC: Yeah it's good to be back.

S: And I think the whole country agrees with what you have just said.

NC: Thank you Stuart.

S: We're fully behind you. One quick thing. The jihadists return the ISIL [unclear 00:07:40] mob. Do you agree with me, every right minded person in the country, and the Commissioner of the Police and many MPs that these people should have their seized, their citizenship removed and not let back under any circumstances whatsoever?

NC: Yeah I think we should have the power to take people's passports away who we think are going to go and spill blood in pursuit of this hateful ideology in other parts of the world. We actually took on new powers, this Coalition government, which kicked in April of last year to do that. We've taken I think about, I think we've taken 23 passports away from individuals already. We've also put new powers on the statute book which is the other side of the coin if you like Stuart just to make pursuing terrorist activities outside Britain a crime within Britain and again that...we've been using those new powers. So we've been strengthening the powers available to us to stop and it is unfortunately often young men from British communities who for one reason or another, whose heads have been turned by this baleful, nasty, medieval ideology from going over there in the first place. And then of course an even greater risk to us, then coming back and inflicting further violence on British streets.

NF: That's the key. What of those who have already gone then? Should they have their passports revoked effectively in absentia?

NC: Oh I think if... I am, I mean I've only just literally got off a plane having been for a few days leading a trade delegation in India. But one of the first things I am doing when I get back in behind my desk so to speak is to look at what more we can do to revoke and remove passports from people who clearly are travelling for no purpose other than wishing to inflict violence on others and pose a direct threat to us. I think I mean, I didn't agree with all of what Bernard Hogan-Howe yesterday. But on that I actually think that is something where we need to look with an open mind about whether the powers we have already recently taken on.

NF: So effectively they won't come back these people?

NC: If we can keep them out, if we can stop people travelling out there in the first place.

NF: Yes.

NC: And people who travel there stop them coming back if we can. Of course should do that.

NF: By taking away their passports [unclear 00:09:46]

NC: Absolutely and we should look at the powers that we have available so as I said e have created new criminal offences. In other words we have criminalised, what remarkably, wasn't a criminal offence before. In other words travelling abroad to pursue violence or terrorist offences, we made that an offence in British law. That's relatively new. We have taken on these new powers to take people's passports away but I am very open minded about looking at more ways in which we can stop this traffic of people back and forth from this crucible of violence in Iraq and Syria.

NF: A quick response from you Stuart.

S: I thank you very much. I agree with everything you have said.

NF: Well done that's nice to hear. Just before we move on Deputy Prime Minister how confident are you in the effectiveness of TPIMs, Terrorist Prevention and Investigation Measures. Also in the interview on LBC yesterday the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that possibly a look at something like, he didn't say a control order but something like the old control orders. Your view?

NC: Well I think there has been a bit of misapprehension and confusion about this. If I felt that control orders or call it by another name was going to be some catch all solution to the threat of ISIL then of course I would, you know, I would look at it very seriously. But what people have to remember is, control orders were a deeply flawed way of doing things. And I've just got some things here which are just worth remembering. Forty three people who were put on control orders actually came of them by the book as their control orders ran out or they were revoked or as kept happening they kept being, squashed, quashed by the courts or they absconded. Seven people actually absconded from control orders during the six years in which they operated and one of those people, those seven people were ever found again. So what happened was, the previous government felt they had these control orders and what were control orders? Control orders are a means by which you sort of try and keep an eye on someone, try and control the movements of someone who you kind of know is dangerous but you haven't got the evidence in a way that you can sort of bang them behind bars. That's the dilemma, that's the gap you are trying to fill. And it just didn't work. The courts kept slapping it down. People kept sort of absconding. As I said forty three people were on control orders. So we replaced it with the Terrorism Prevention Act [unclear voices overlap 00:11:54]...

NF: [unclear voices overlap 00:11:54] are they Deputy Prime Minister?

NC: Well the courts have said that they are much more legally sound so we don't have this constant run around with the courts where they keep being quashed. Two successive independent reviewers of counter-terrorism legislation have said that they are effective. And let's remember these are not soft instruments they allow the police and the authorities a...

NF: But they are softer than a control order Deputy Prime Minister?

NC: Well hang on. Let's explain this. It means that people under these orders...under these measures, these terrorism investigation orders, they are tagged, they can be excluded from going to certain places. They can be stopped from travelling abroad. They can be told they obviously have to stay at home. The can be...

NF: They are allowed to use a mobile phone and the internet.

NC: Well no but there can be conditions on that. Conditions on...

NF: There can be.

NC: ...where they work and where they study. Yeah. They have to report to the police. So you know...

NF: They can apply to the courts to go away from their home to stay wherever they wish to go?

NC: They can apply to the courts.

NF: So they could all...just for the purpose of the debate, they could all go to Luton.

NC: Well if they all want to go to Luton which is not...

NF: Which is not necessarily a good place is that? There are problems with extremism in that area.

NC: Well of course because they are not all...

NF: Whereas the old control order restricted and the police knew where they were.

NC: As they do under these. It's complete....

NF: Well if they are on the move?

NC: No, no, no. It's a complete myth. They are tagged for heaven's sake. They are tagged. They have to report to the police wherever they are. The can be....

NF: So where is Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed who escaped from Acton, West London in November 2013. He is still on the lamb isn't he?

NC: He is still on the run as he...

NF: Where's Ibrahim Magag who went on the lamb on Boxing Day 2012. He's still on the run as well isn't he?

NC: Correct and this is... But this is...

NF: It doesn't seem to be working very well there Deputy Prime Minister?

NC: This is the issue and this is the problem with control orders. Here's the bottom line. If you want to make us completely safe from these people the best thing to do is to lock them up right. And that's why as I say, we have actually taken on new powers, new laws. So people who break those laws, we get them in court, we get them before a judge and jury and they get behind bars. That's the best thing. There is a small number of people we are talking about here where we know that they are dangerous but we can't for one reason or another marshall the evidence to get them behind bars. It's a very, very tricky thing. It's like so in other words we can't throw the full force of the law at them but we also want to keep an on them and as I say, terrorism prevention investigation measures, they're not some soft measure. We know exactly where they are, they're, people have absconded, as several people did under control orders. The difference is, these measures haven't constantly been challenged in the Courts. They've stood much more legally secure, we haven't had to let people go, 'cause Courts have told the government to do so, which is what happened under controlled orders.

NF: In a couple of cases, they've gone of their own accord, in a couple of cases.

NC: Yeah I know, but look, what I'd like, what I'd like is for us to take all of these people, get them in a Court, and get them behind bars, right. But I'm realistic enough and pragmatic enough, and I care as much as anyone else about the safety of the British public, that sometimes you need to take these unorthodox measures, which is what both control orders and terrorism prevention investigation measures are, to make sure that you keep an eye on them. Then there's the debate about exactly how you design them. But I really want to get away from this idea that somehow, either the old control orders were a catch all situation, they weren't. Or that the new TPIMS are somehow very weak measures, they're not.

NF: Alright. We move on to other questions. Mr Clegg.

NC: Erm, Chris in South Croydon. Hello Chris.

C: Oh good morning Deputy Prime Minister.

NC: Morning.

C: Yes, and my question is, what would you consider to be an acceptable net immigration rate, annual net immigration rate for Britain. Bearing in mind that as long as we're in the EU and signed up to the Strasbourg Court, we've no power to limit it.

NC: Well I've always, and I've been asked this before, Chris. I've always felt that chasing a net immigration target makes no sense, which is why I've always disagreed with the way that Conservatives...do you remember they always used to say, oh we're going to commit to a net immigration target of tens of thousands. And I kept saying, don't do that 'cause you're not gonna be able to deliver it, 'cause you can't control quite a lot of it. And it's also a slightly meaningless target, you can have a million people leave this country, a million people come in, and hey presto you've met your targets of no net immigration. So I don't think it makes a great deal of sense. What I want instead is an immigration system which people have confidence in, because people's confidence in our immigration system has been very, very badly shaken over many, many years. It's got to be tough against illegal immigration, against the loopholes in the system, against criminality, against people coming here and being employed by rogue employers in the sort of, you know, grey areas of our economy. I want to see exit checks properly restored so we count people out as well as we count people in. I've been the most, you know, the most active proponent in government saying we've got to reinsert those checks which were removed by previous governments. But we've also got to be smart. I've just come back from India, there are lots and lots of brilliant Indian engineers, IT specialists, people who would give great benefit to our country if they were to come here for a certain period of time, who I think we should welcome on legitimate visas. So tough but smart, tough but fair, that's the way to proceed. I don't think pursuing these targets...which is why, by the way, the Conservatives now appear to have u-turned and have gone very quiet on that net immigration target, because they realise, I think, their mistake. I don't think just holding up one artificial net target like that makes much sense.

NF: Quick response.

C: You don't think Britain is over populated then?

NC: I think there are parts of Britain where the population pressure is much greater than others.

C: No as a scientific context, Britain is over populated. If you say Britain is not over populated, you're saying just the same, that water is HO3, that the sun goes round the earth, and that iron ships won't float.

NC: Well Id suspect we're going to part company at this. Where is it, when you say it's a scientific....

C: In a way, and I represent most people in this country.

NC: Yeah but when you said there's scientific proof.

C: Yes, because you're over populated when the lifestyle of your inhabitants imposes an excessive strain on the ecosystem of any land mass. Which ours does. London's rubbish alone fills the Albert Hall from top to bottom every day, for example.

NC: Yeah but you could have a country which is very under populated, but everyone lives in, let's say, one small corner of it. Clearly that one small corner has got a problem.

C: Yes but that is overcrowding, you don't seem to know the difference between overcrowded and over populated.

NC: Er well.

C: You hold a first class honours university degree, god help us.

NC: Well Chris, you seem very worked up. I actually don't have a first class honours degree as it happens. But secondly, you were talking about overcrowding, 'cause you were referring to London and the waste problem in London. But look, I think you and I are gonna disagree on this, I don't think it is, I don't think it makes any sense...

NF: I'm going to step in here.

NC: ...to pretend to the British people that you can solve everything by meeting a net immigration target over which we don't have that much control.

NF: And the news is, we hope it will be...

NC: The voice of reason, Nick Ferrari, is intervening.

NF: ...we hope the new season will be more Chelsea than Manchester United, I think. Right we move on. Joe is in Catford, Joe you're on the radio.

NC: Hello Joe.

J: Yeah hi there, how are you Nick?

NC: Yeah I'm alright Joe, how are you?

J: I'm very well, thank you very much. My question is, do you think the government's doing enough to protect us from deadly viruses such as Ebola?

NC: Well I think we're doing a...the way that that young British nurse, Pooley is it?

NF: Yeah, William Pooley.

NC: William Pooley is being treated, by all accounts...

NF: Yeah at the Royal Free in London.

NC: Yeah, by all accounts his family and friends say he's being treated actually brilliantly, and he's apparently...

NF: Yeah, nothing but praise.

NC: ...he's doing really well. But not only nothing but praise for the NHS, but also nothing but praise for him, he sounds like a remarkable individual.

NF: Yes.

NC: And Joe, look, I think, you know, there are, the NHS and other organisations, are in a state of sort of heightened vigilance about Ebola. It's a terrifying disease, given the effect it has clearly in parts of Africa. The race is on to try and find a cure for it. Some people who suffer from Ebola recover. There are these experimental drugs that are being used, I think William Pooley is actually using them.

NF: Yes he is.

NC: You know, at the moment. So you know, we can't be in any way complacent, but I'm confident that the NHS in particular is being effective and vigilant.

NF: Lets move to a couple of emails...thank you for that.

NC: Sure.

NF: This comes in from Graham in Bushey. Lord Rennard is back in your party, you're also advocating sexual relationship lessons. If Rennard had had some at seven, do you think it might have stopped him behaving so appallingly with those four Lib Dem women, what does it take to be kicked out of your party?

NC: Well look, I can't, I'm not gonna sort of rehearse the whole...

NF: Are you pleased to see him back?

NC: ...lengthy saga. But he is, the committee which looks at this in the Lib Dems...and look, I know some people might find due process lengthy or boring, but it's actually important. It's important that these things are looked at, and in Rennard's case looked at by the police, looked at by an independent QC. He was then looked at by a number of committees within the Liberal Democrat party, a mediation process was organised as well. So this is a lengthy process. I am, I remain as distressed as anyone that there were a number of women who felt that they had been treated in a way which they found wholly unacceptable, and that they didn't, that their cries for help if you like, were not reacted on at the time, and that they had to go public with that later. He's not gonna play any role in the General Election campaign, he has issued an apology, and that's why the decision of that committee was as it was.

NF: My question was, are you pleased to see him back?

NC: Well look I just, I recognise, I just accept the process as it was, I accept the decision as it was. I'm very keen...

NF: My questions was...the word is pleased.

NC: I know, I know, I know you wish me to use your words.

NF: Yes or no, I welcome him back with open arms or...

NC: Even on the third season of this series, I think you'd be fully aware, I sometimes use my own words!

NF: You do, it's something I can't get you to drink, even though I take you to the water.

NC: But the really big thing is, you know, we've taken a long hard look in the mirror as a party.

NF: So you're not displeased.

NC: I am, I am, I tell you what, I absolutely believe the party has changed. I think we now, you know, obviously there's been a lot of soul searching about what went wrong, a lot of soul searching about why these women's complaints were not acted upon in a way that they felt should have happened much earlier. We've now massively changed the way we do things in the party, this has been scrutinised, as I say, by the police, by an independent QC, by several committees with the party. I've also asked for, that there should be a change in the rules, in other words, the burden of proof which is applied to these kind of cases should be changed in the future. An independent barrister has also looked at that and recommended that should happen, that hopefully will now be taken forward. So I think this has been a very distressing time for the party, and a very distressing episode for the party. But I think it's actually left the party in a stronger position because we have changed and changed signficantly.

NF: Do I try one last time to ask you...?

NC: No don't try again.

NF: Shall we move on to other questions then.

NC: Yeah.

NF: You take control, it's Call Clegg after all!

NC: Erm, Leila in Abbey Wood, hello Leila.

L: Good morning Deputy Prime Minister, thank you for taking my call.

NF: As loud as you possibly can Leila, you've got a lovely voice but just really shout your question 'cause I've got you at maximum level, thank you.

L: I just woke up, sorry!

NF: Oh right!

NC: It's ten o'clock Leila!

NF: The Deputy Prime Minister just got off a plane, we're not here for excuses Leila, we're here for questions, on you go!

NC: Were you working late Leila or what?

L: No!

NC: Come on, tell the nation, what excuse do you have?

L: Erm, my little one is ill.

NC: Oh sorry.

L: Okay, so Boris Johnson has lately said he wants to become an MP.

NC: Yeah.

L: And then shortly after he was quoted saying that [unclear 00:23:36] should be taken out of the log book because it concerned people who were coming back from Syria. Do you think with these sort of dangerous ideas anyone should take him seriously, or he should be allowed to become an MP, or earn not just as an MP, 'cause that's the end game.

NF: Do you think that's his end game...stay on the line, Leila.

NC: Oh Leila, well we talked before about Boris Johnson's insatiable political ambitions. And I think no amount of tousled hair can camouflage the, his ambitions.

NF: What's his end game, Mr Clegg?

NC: I don't know, you'll need to...you know him better than I do, he's on your programme very week, you should...

NF: He was here on Tuesday.

NC: When is he on?

NF: Tuesday.

NC: Leila, ring back on Tuesday and ask him the question, 'cause I think to be honest, he can give you, you can get the answer from the horse's mouth. I don't happen to agree with some of the things Boris Johnson said in his recent Telegraph article, incredibly and obviously serious though, the ISIL threat is. But more generally, my experience is...

NF: But you are happy with the idea of looking at the idea of suspending passports?

NC: Oh yeah, as I say we take passports away already. No, no, look I'm no slouch on this at all. I think, sorry Leila, before we move from Boris Johnson, can I just say on this issue, 'cause it is one of the biggest security threats that our nation now faces. These kind of hateful people in ISIL, and they're drawing in, you know, fanatics, and particularly young men from around the world, not least from Britain. I think we need to obviously work with the Americans and others constantly to see what we can do to help with the humanitarian situation, to help in whatever way we can or should, to stop the military advance of ISIL, particularly in northern Iraq. But we also, and we need to look at some of the powers which we've just discussed earlier in this programme, but we also need to remember that the best antidote to some of these hateful ideas taking root in our communities, is the people of the mainstream British Muslim communities themselves. And we have to work hand in glove with them, they are as horrified, if not more horrified, in my experience, than anyone else, that their religion, their cherished religion, Islam, is being as sort of perverted and turned inside out as much as it is by these violent extremists. But Leila, back to...my experience in politics is that you know, in a sense, the best bit in politics is when you can kind of mouth off about stuff, left right and centre, and you don't really have to take responsibility for anything you say. He's in that phase at the moment in his political career, and it's great fun for him 'cause he can go around and sort of say whatever he likes, he doesn't really have to stand by any of the words, he doesn't really need to think it through and it's not scrutinised very much. But as I have discovered, probably more dramatically than anybody, when you then step up to the plate and have to do stuff, it's a completely different matter. And you know, one day, one day I hope Boris Johnson is actually tested. You know, talking the talk is one thing, he needs to walk the walk as well.

NF: Would he be a good Prime Minister?

NC: Oh, I'm not...I think the Liberal Democrat, the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, both now and in the future, would always make the best Prime Ministers.

NF: I had a feeling you might say that. We move on to other calls.

NC: Noah in Swansea.

N: Hello.

NC: Hello.

N: I just want to ask you, do you realise that making sex education compulsory for seven year olds in all state school not only robs them of their innocence, but will also encourage earlier sexual activity amongst eight and nine year olds? And will you please stop pursing this agenda of cultural Marxism, with its theories of pan sexualism and polymorphic perversion.

NC: Pan sexualism, polymorphic perversion...I have been accused of many things in my time Noah, but nothing as polysyllabic or as contorted sounding as that.

NF: I can't even spell it.

NC: No I so utterly and totally disagree with you. Look, we're not...I've seen some ridiculous headlines that sort of Lib Dems are gonna teach seven year olds how to use condoms...rubbish, total utter rubbish.

NF: What is the truth?

NC: What we are saying, and you can ask any teacher, ask any parent, that if you really want our children to grow up as responsible young adults, understanding the risks that are around. For instance, the risks of online bullying, and you know, explicit sexual imagery online, you've got to start talking to people about relationships, about emotions, about how you interact with each other, from an early age. We are not prescribing exactly what is taught when. We can easily have a bunch of people look at that and make recommendations. But at the moment you've got sexual education guidance which is way out of date. You'll remember these young women...in fact, I think we talked about this on this show some months ago...who are saying, quite rightly, why on earth is it that the whole online threat, particularly to young girls, of sexual intimidation, bullying and so on, is not properly incorporated into those guidelines. They need to be revised. And we need to allow all schools to do actually what a lot of very sensible schools do anyway, which is in an age appropriate way, talk to young people. And far, far Noah, from somehow unlocking some sort of frenzy of promiscuity, which you seem to fear. Which I think is an extraordinary assertion to make about children...what, do you think the moment you start talking to them about each other and how they interact with each other, they're gonna sort of descend into some sort of bout of promiscuity. Far from that, all the evidence shows, and I believe in evidence Noah, not just these wild assertions that you're making. The evidence shows that that's the best way to protect our children, and for instance, to bring down unwanted pregnancies, which are still at far too high rates in our country.

NF: We're coming to the final minute. Just lastly, you've very kindly come straight here from the airport...but I'm actually gonna take the final question...you've come back from a trade delegation to India, Deputy Prime Minister. You took some businessmen and women over there, what did you learn?

NC: Well I learned that, I mean I think India is like a...I mean, it sounds like a cliché, but it's like a sleeping giant, economically. It's this massive country, 1.2 billion people, 70 per cent of whom are under the age of 35. Can you imagine!

NF: That's phenomenal.

NC: It's phenomenal. I was in...producing hundreds of thousands of engineers and IT scientists every year, a passion for learning, that's another thing...I went to a few colleges, I did sort of question and answer sessions with some school kids. There's this absolute wonderful belief in the value of education. I heard about parents who have got nothing, absolutely nothing, and they're just scrimping and saving whatever they can gather together to give their daughters and their sons a good education. I was in Bangalore yesterday, I mean Bangalore is gonna be the sort of new silicon valley, well it already is in many respects. So I think that we can, you know, given that we're already the world's, out of the G20 countries, Britain invests more in India than any other G20 country...

NF: How much are the trade deals worth then?

NC: Oh they're a lot, they're a lot, we trade about...

NF: What's a lot?

NC: ...well it's about, our trade relations is worth about £16 billion per year.

NF: Right, and do they look favourably on us then, a genuine affection?

NC: Oh yes they do. India invests more in the United Kingdom than India invests in the rest of the whole of the European Union put together. So we've got this fantastic...

NF: Who needs Europe eh?

NC: We share...well actually, if you really want to get me onto that, part of the reason of course they invest in Britain is 'cause they can then go on and trade with Europe.

NF: Oh here we go, the old gateway.

NC: You think I've changed just going to Asia and back.

NF: I thought a holiday might have calmed you down a bit!

NC: Some old theme tunes, things don't change. But look, I think it's a fantastic...we've obviously got this shared history, language, literature, you know, we understand each other. I think there's massive opportunities there, and it was a great, great visit.

NF: The new season has begun. Deputy Prime Minister, thank you.

NC: Thank you.

NF: I hope to see you next week back at the usual time, Call Clegg here on LBC. I'm done, I'm back with you tomorrow, meantime stay safe.