Man Charged With Assault After Attacking Clegg With Blue Paint

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NICK CLEGG BLUE PAINT
PA

A 22-year-old man appeared in court on Friday after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was attacked with blue paint at a party meeting in Glasgow.

Stuart Rodger, from Inverkeithing, Fife, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court Friday afternoon charged with assault. He made no plea and was released on bail.

Clegg and the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie were hit by a blue paint bomb during the meeting with grassroots activists on Thursday.

The paint hit the deputy prime minister in the face and on the back of his jacket.

The Scotsman reported that the blue dye had been injected into an egg shell.

Police questioned Rodger following the incident at Woodside Hall in the west of the city, and held him in connection with an alleged breach of the peace and police assault.

He was reported to have had an accomplice, but no other arrests have so far been reported.

Scottish news outlet STV reported the protester was a former LibDem member protesting against the party's decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives in Westminster.

Clegg shrugged off the event, telling Real Radio Scotland: "These things happen. It's not a big deal."

Willie Rennie said: "It was two disgruntled individuals, who chose not to speak about their concerns in advance but were purely interested in a stunt. Their behaviour has only obscured any message that they may have had."

He joked: "I've always wanted a blue streak in my hair but my mother wouldn't let me."

Nick Clegg's spokesman said he would not "allow a bit of paint to stop him speaking to Liberal Democrats in Glasgow - that would be ridiculous", the BBC reported.

Labour MP for Glasgow South Tom Harris condemned the attack, tweeting: "I'm not exactly Clegg's biggest fan but this kind of attack is shameful and quite pathetic."