Clegg's reply to the Tory rebels weakened by lack of rehearsal

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As a former MEP who has worked for an EU commissioner, Nick Clegg is obviously better informed about Europe than most of our MPs.

Given yesterday's anti-EU vote in the House of Commons, it was therefore quite fortunate that he was booked to speak this morning at the Chatham House think-tank on international affairs - even if there wasn't much time to write much of a critique in time for today.

What a pity, then, that the Deputy Prime Minister didn't allow more time to rehearse what he wanted to say a few times before he said it. Had he done so, he wouldn't have had to spend so much time looking down at his script and might have even have managed a rather livelier and less 'wooden' delivery...

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