Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Sunday, 30 November 2008

Clegg downplays criticism report

Nick Clegg on the newspaper report

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has played down a newspaper report of him criticising colleagues.

A Sunday Mirror reporter says he was in front of Mr Clegg on a flight and heard him criticising his top team - and discussing a possible reshuffle.

He was reported to have said that he could not stand some, and said that some others were not good enough.

Asked about it on BBC One's Politics Show, Mr Clegg said that "a lot of it is, frankly, fiction".

He said that every week he read about things he was supposed to have said or done, but which were "wildly inaccurate".

The Sunday Mirror said Mr Clegg "revealed his dislike for Steve Webb, his environment spokesman, and decided to demote Chris Huhne, his former leadership rival and currently home affairs spokesman, before adding he wasn't 'emotionally intelligent' enough for the environment job."

The newspaper said the conversation took place with Danny Alexander during a flight to Inverness.

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