By Ray Fleming

NICK Clegg is going to have to do better than this. On the principal economic issue of the general election the Liberal Democrats consistently said that Britain should adopt a policy of maintaining a stimulus in 2010/11 before introducing a deficit reduction programme in the following year. This was also broadly Labour's position whereas the Conservatives argued for early deficit-reduction measures -- the policy now being vigorously implemented by the Lib-Con coalition government.

Immediately after the election Mr Clegg performed a stunning U-turn by adopting the Conservative policy, claiming that the failure of the Greek economy and other warning signs had led him to change his mind. He said that a personal conversation with Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England had influenced him. Yesterday Mr King said he told Clegg nothing that he had not already said at a press conference. But now, in a BBC documentary shown last night, Mr Clegg said that, actually, he had changed his mind some time before the election but just didn't bother to tell anyone -- least of all the millions who watched the TV leaders' debates in which the Lib Deb leader advocated a policy which, apparently, he had already abandoned in his mind. So now we have a prime minister and a deputy prime minister who both misled the electorate by failing to tell the whole story -- Mr Cameron on the NHS and Mr Clegg on the economy.

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