Clegg addresses the Crucible

By Sam Dale

Nick Clegg leader was in a light-hearted mood, when he spoke to the crowd at the Crucible in Sheffield just before the start of the snooker World Championship semi-finals.

The Liberal Democrat leader joked about Gordon Brown’s “bigoted woman” slip on Wednesday: “I know everyone has been talking about one gaffe all week – the fact that Steve Davis got to the quarter-finals,” he said.

“I thought I’d come and crack a few snooker jokes like the reds are sunk or Labour are snookered but then I realised the blue ball was worth more than the yellow so I had better not.”

At one point a man shouted “let’s see you play” and Mr Clegg jokingly walked towards the snooker table before saying “you don’t want to see that”.

He pledged his support to the Killing Cancer charity and said people should be open to new treatments.

Mr Clegg was applauded at the end but did receive a few boos when he first entered the theatre.

Speaking outside Mr Clegg was keen to speak about immigration and defend his party’s policy of an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“When you have a problem you either deal with or you don’t. It is a problem created by successive Labour and Conservative governments and we are the only party dealing with it.

“Gordon Brown and David Cameron are treating people like complete fools. We have a proposal and people may like it or but at least we have plans,” he said.

“The alternative is the suggestion by Gordon Brown and David Cameron that they will deport people when they don’t know where they live. It’s laughable.”

He also claimed his party’s manifesto set out more specific cuts than any party but did say they must do more.