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Clegg: No peerage, and no Strictly


Mr Clegg told the children Prince was his favourite pop star

Mr Clegg told the children Prince was his favourite pop star

Mr Clegg told the children Prince was his favourite pop star

Nick Clegg has said he will not take a peerage to go into an unreformed House of Lords after he leaves the Commons.

And the Deputy Prime Minister also vowed to steer clear of appearances on reality shows like Strictly Come Dancing or I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! when he hangs up his gloves as an MP.

But the Liberal Democrat leader insisted that he was not making plans for a new career after next May's general election, brushing off suggestions that he will have more time on his hands come June 2015.

The Deputy Prime Minister was answering questions from children at Sheffield Children's Hospital for a pre-recorded Christmas Day special edition of his Call Clegg phone-in on LBC radio.

"I think there are two things I can say pretty clearly," said Mr Clegg. "I'm not going to go to an unreformed House of Lords and I'm not going to the jungle and join Edwina Currie."

Asked if he might instead take to the Strictly dancefloor, as his Lib Dem Cabinet colleague Vince Cable did in 2010, he responded: "No, no, no, no."

The only post-politics ambition Mr Clegg would admit to was spending more time playing music.

"I might invest in one of those digital drum sets when I leave politics - which won't be next June, by the way," he said.

Mr Clegg revealed that since being given a pair of bright yellow boxing gloves by wife Miriam for Christmas last year, he has been attending weekly boxing classes as a way of keeping fit, adding: "What I lack in skill I make up for in exertion and enthusiasm."

But his present wish-list this year was topped by a less energetic request for novels to read in the evenings.

Mr Clegg denied he was "mates" with coalition partner David Cameron, saying: "We don't work together as mates, we work together as two people who work together.

"I don't think David Cameron and I have gone into government or coalition with each other to seek out friends. We're there to do a job."

Asked by one 10-year-old girl what it was like "being so important", Mr Clegg replied: "I don't go around thinking `Ooh, what I'm doing is terribly important'. You just kind of get on with it from one day to the next.

"The good thing about politics ... compared to other countries is that politicians quite rightly are not allowed to get too big for their boots because everybody spends all their time bringing them down to size.

"In other countries, politicians are kind of treated like they're ... you know, people don't challenge them and people don't question them.

"In our country, we've got lots and lots of problems and the political system, parts of it are pretty rubbish and need to be changed. But the good thing is that people are constantly being challenged and never allowed to be too big for their boots."

Despite being MP for Sheffield Hallam since 2005, Mr Clegg had to admit supporting neither United nor Wednesday but Arsenal, and failed to come up with any Yorkshire phrases when challenged to name his favourite by a 12-year-old girl.

Dressed in his most colourful festive sweater, Mr Clegg assured the children that Father Christmas is real, and said that those - like a Norfolk vicar who told a primary school that Santa was make-believe - "don't know what they're talking about".

Mr Clegg named yellow as his favourite colour and said Prince was his favourite pop star and Happy by Pharrell Williams the best song of recent months.