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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 17:22 GMT
Lib Dem contenders: policy by policy

Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne

Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are the two contenders for the Liberal Democrat leadership. What views do they share and where do they differ?

PUBLIC SERVICES

CLEGG

More money for the education of the most deprived children. Pay for better schools by removing means-tested benefits for the highest earners. Locally elected people shoule be put in charge of NHS.

HUHNE

Extra 2.1% of GDP on education, eventually bringing spending per head on state pupils up to private school average. Pupils tested on reading at age eight and any unable to read to get intensive tuition.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

CLEGG

Against a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Promises to use UK's "leverage" for global disarmament.

HUHNE

No replacement for Trident. At most, there should be a "minimum deterrent", smaller and cheaper and independent of the US.

CONSTITUTION

CLEGG

Believes coalition government is only possible after electoral reform. Freedom Bill to roll back "unnecessary, outdated and illiberal" legislation like ID cards. Set up a petitions committee in Parliament to consider and act on large-scale public petitions. Proportional representation to be introduced for local and national government. Calling for a fully elected House of Lords.

HUHNE

Fixed-term Parliaments. "People's veto", where a referendum is held on laws voted in by Parliament if enough people sign a petition objecting to them. Elected Lords. Prime minister to face Commons select committees. Proportional representation prerequisite for any talks about partnership government. Freedom Bill to repeal "unnecessary and illiberal legislation".

HOUSING

CLEGG

Free councils to build 100,000 affordable homes a year, pushing up total housebuilding to 3.3 million in 10 years. Re-use vacant rural buildings for affordable homes. Where second homes dominate, require people to get planning permission to turn property into holiday home.

HUHNE

Councils should be allowed to build more houses to let and use income to build more. Three million homes should be built in next 10 years - a quarter in social housing. "Housing land banks" should be set up to release more land onto market at affordable prices.

FOREIGN POLICY/DEFENCE

CLEGG

"Ring-fence" defence budget so more used to look after armed services. Make European Union more decentralised and accountable.

HUHNE

UK must say "no" to US more often. Press for reform of EU institutions, with stricter rules on accounts. Join the euro once France and Germany open their economies.

CRIME

CLEGG

Make training and education "universal" in prisons and move more people with mental health problems out of prison and into care. Local courts for minor offences, where offenders have to "explain themselves". Would refuse to have an ID card, even going to court.

HUHNE

Zero tolerance on gangs and guns. Change procedural rules on rape trials, so juries can be told of "common misconceptions" which keep conviction rates low. Deal with drug addiction as a medical condition. Would refuse to have an ID card, even going to court.

IMMIGRATION

CLEGG

"Managed" migration, with clearer rights of appeal on temporary visas and reintroduction of exit controls. Make immigration planning less centralised. English language classes for immigrants.

HUHNE

Must re-open debate to look at effects of "very rapid change". If found to be "acute short-term" effects on UK people, then government has to be "tougher on non-EU immigration".

ENVIRONMENT

CLEGG

"Climate change covenant" between government, business and citizens. Higher environmental standards for new buildings. Annual green audit for big businesses.

HUHNE

Whole of government spending subject to review on effects on climate change. Lib Dem councils lead by buying goods and services from sustainable sources.

POVERTY/WEALTH

CLEGG

More support for those who want to leave incapacity benefit and get into work. A higher basic state pension, linked to earnings.

HUHNE

Increase child benefit. Shareholders to vote on managers' very high wages. Take lowest earners out of income tax.

LOCALISM

CLEGG

Calls for a "radical transfer of powers" from central to local government, including some devolution of tax-making powers.

HUHNE

Councils should have more power stop "clone towns" by rejecting planning permission for large retailers and helping local businesses.

LIB DEM FUTURE

CLEGG

More fundraising for party's "diversity fund". Set up Liberal Democrat Academy improve political skills of potential councillors and MPs.

HUHNE

Party must be "more ambitious" in targeting uncommitted voters. Make parliamentary Lib Dems more representative of UK.





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