Nick Clegg calls for unity following resignation call

Nick Clegg will today call for party unity after a senior Liberal Democrat publicly called for him to resign.

Clegg will urge his party to share responsibilty for their time in government,.

"We have decided the policies," he will say during the opening rally of the Lib Dem conference in Glasgow.

"We decided, together, to go into government. People who don’t understand us like to call debate division. I think it’s debates that give us our unity."

His speech follows a call by Lib Dem peer Matthew Oakeshott for Clegg to quit.

The close ally of Vince Cable told the House magazine earlier this week: "Let's be objective – we have to accept that Nick's ratings are very poor and have been for a long time."

"You've got to be frank that his ratings are down at levels which if you go back were only seen by Mrs Thatcher shortly before she left and Michael Foot. It's nothing personal, you've got to look at the facts."

The Lib Dem leader yesterday dismissed Oakeshott as a serial complainer.

"He tends to always do so like clockwork at this time of year," he told BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester.

"When it's conference and the weather turns bad, up pops Matthew Oakeshott with some disobliging remarks about me." 

Clegg will today urge his party to treat each other "honestly and with respect".

He will also tell them to be proud of their record in government.

"When the debates are over and the speeches have finished I want you to join me in getting back out there and telling everyone this: We are the party of fairness. We are the party of freedom. And, yes, we are the party of jobs," he will say.