BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:10 UK

Election is 'not two-horse race'

Nick Clegg: "We need to do something new this time"

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said the general election will not be the usual "two-horse race" between Labour and the Conservatives.

Mr Clegg told workers at the Lib Dem campaign headquarters in central London that their party would offer real change to voters.

He said the 6 May poll would be "a huge, huge election".

The prime minister was responsible for many of the problems of the past 13 years, Mr Clegg added.

He blamed Gordon Brown for "the illegal invasion of Iraq", growing unfairness and inequality, "rottenness and corruption" in parliament and the failure to regulate the banks.

'Different and new'

Mr Clegg said: "It is a very exciting opportunity for everyone in Britain who wants fairness and real change, who wants something different.

"This isn't the old politics of a two-horse race between Labour and the Conservative Party. The real choice is between the old politics of Labour and Conservatives and something different, something new and that is what we offer."

Putting his thumbs up to applauding activists, Mr Clegg said: "This is a huge, huge election. It is certainly the beginning of the end for Brown, that's for sure.

It has become harder to get on under Brown and that's what we are here to change.
Nick Clegg

"He is directly responsible for so many things that have gone wrong in the last 13 years - the illegal invasion of Iraq that only we stood against, the unfairness and inequality in Britain that we have been campaigning against, the rottenness and corruption in Parliament that we have been speaking out about long before the other parties realised there was a problem.

"And the banks - Brown's utter failure to stop the greed in the banks which has now created this recession and hit so many people so hard.

"Remember, [Lib Dem Treasury spokesman] Vince Cable stood alone in the House of Commons saying this can't go on and neither the Conservative or Labour parties realised that we were right and they were wrong.

"It has become harder to get on under Brown and that's what we are here to change."

Mr Clegg began his election campaign with a visit to Watford, Hertfordshire, where he hosted a question and answer session with young people.

Taking questions from the audience, he pledged to abolish university tuition fees, but admitted it would take "six years" to do that.

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