POLITICS

Lib Dem Conference Votes For Austerity Again, As Nick Clegg Sees Off Challenge To His Authority

16/09/2013 12:03 BST | Updated 16/11/2013 10:12 GMT
PA
Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg addresses the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference at The Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, Scotland.

Nick Clegg saw off a challenge to his authority over Liberal Democrat economic policy today, as rebel amendments were overwhelmingly defeated at the party's annual conference in Glasgow.

The amendments tabled by centre-left Lib Dems would have committed the party to watering down the Government's deficit-reduction programme and changing the mandate of the Bank of England to encourage growth and job creation.

In an unusual move, the Liberal Democrat leader spoke in the debate, warning delegates that victory for the amendments would be welcomed only by Chancellor George Osborne and his Labour shadow Ed Balls.

After overnight reports of a rift between the Deputy Prime Minister and Vince Cable over the economy, the Business Secretary - who had not been planning to vote - made an 11th-hour change of heart and turned up in the conference hall to cast his vote in support of Mr Clegg.