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Cleggmania turns nasty


With Nick Clegg in Somerset

A PREGNANT Tory supporter said she was shoved by fired-up Lib Dem voters at a chaotic Nick Clegg visit today.

The party leader was trying to raise support in the Conservative-held constituency Wells, Somerset, as part of his strategy to target David Cameron’s votes before the election.

But the meeting quickly descended into farce as hundreds of residents crowded into the popular shopping street.

A pregnant woman in her 20s was allegedly pushed by angry Clegg supporters because she was holding a Conservative banner.

The pretty blonde was forced to shout out: “Hey, I’m pregnant – be careful of me!”

Afterwards people rounded on the well-dressed man, in his 50s, accusing him of punching her.

Later the man, who refused to give his name and denied punching the woman, told the News of the World: “A pregnant woman shouldn’t have been in a melee like this. She was bound to get pushed.

“The Tories were just trying to cause trouble.”

The battle between Conservatives and Lib Dems is clearly heated in this crucial constituency, where current MP David Heathcoat-Amory was shamed for claiming for manure on his expenses.

As Nick Clegg addressed the crowd, his supporters tried to shout down Tory voters who called out that his party would be a “disaster” and that Mr Clegg was “talking rubbish.”

However, the Lib Dem leader seemed unaware of the chaos.

He told the assembled residents: “Together we can change politics in this country.

“I want a politics where you’re listened to all the time, where you are the boss. I’m fed up with Labour and Conservative politicians thinking they can tell you what to do.”

Mr Clegg’s remarks were met by rapturous applause from the assembled students and Lib Dem voters – particularly when he made some dubious allegations about the other parties.

He claimed the “Conservatives will take money away from your schools” although David Cameron has vowed to protect the education budget.

And he ignored the expenses abuses of his own MPs, by claiming “after the expenses scandal people want politicians they can trust.”

Earlier in the day Mr Clegg told the News of the World: “The sky’s the limit in an election campaign where all bets are off.

"We're targeting seats now that we never thought would be possible before the TV debates."

And he said the remarkable surge in Lib Dem popularity was partly down to David Cameron's complacency.

He said: "David Cameron and Gordon Brown were extraordinarily complacent coming into this election.

"The Conservatives thought they were simply going to waltz into Number Ten."

But today’s tour showed that not everyone has been taken in by 'Cleggmania' or the big leadership debates.
An American called Charles Hauss approached Nick Clegg on the train from London and chatted to him for ten minutes about the election.

Mr Hauss then enquired: "So what are you going to do to help Mr Clegg?

The Lib Dem leader replied: "But I am Mr Clegg!"

Mr Hauss later admitted "I thought he was part of the entourage!

"I'm really embarrassed. I watched all the leaders’ debates and I watched the first one twice!"

Later, another protester was manhandled away from a Lib Dem rally in Malvern yesterday

Charles Fraser, 44, said he had been "assaulted" after Special Branch cops hauled him out of the crowd gathered outside a local pub.

The police said they took action after Mr Fraser started surging to the front of the crowd.

But one onlooker commented: "It seemed a bit heavy handed to me.

"If the Lib Dems can't run a rally this size, how can they run the country?"



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