Nick Clegg hits Carshalton campaign trail to back Lib Dem candidate Tom Brake… and take selfies

Nick Clegg took to the streets of Carshalton today to drum up support for former Lib Dem MP and candidate Tom Brake.

Mr Clegg, 48, unveiled a new piece of art at a gallery before sitting down for coffee with apprentices at a bakery and posing for ‘selfies’ with residents.

The Deputy Prime Minister told SW Londoner how proud he was of his party’s record of boosting apprenticeships in the last five years and how the schemes will continue to grow under his leadership.

Nick Clegg bakery  Lib Dem SWL pic

“I’m incredibly proud of what the Liberal Democrats have achieved in government,” he said.

“We have more than doubled the number of apprenticeships available so that there are now two million new apprenticeships which have started during this parliament and it wouldn’t have happened without Vince Cable and myself pushing it very hard in government.

“We now want to go further – we want to double the number of businesses that take on apprenticeships.

Nick Clegg talking to people SWL PIC

“For a long, long time we have had this barely disguised snobbery that somehow an academic qualification is better than a vocational one – that having your nose in a book in a university library for three or four years is always better than getting your hands dirty and learning by doing.

“I think we should be putting vocational and academic education on a level pedestal.

“It is a great way of giving youngsters a chance to make those first few tentative steps from the world of education into the world of work.”

Nick Clegg selfies2 Lib Dem SWL pic

The Deputy Prime Minister spent around an hour in the area before heading to St Helier Hospital to highlight where he was greeted by groups of angry campaigners protesting about the state of the NHS and a proposed waste incinerator.

Check back tomorrow for our exclusive chat with Mr Clegg about life on the campaign trail and what he thinks about Labour’s manifesto.

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