Clegg backs welfare shake-up as Lib Dems slump in polls

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to mount a vigorous defence of the coalition’s welfare reforms, insisting the Government had an “absolute duty” to ensure the system was fair to all.

While acknowledging the changes had at times been “painful and controversial”, he will use a keynote speech to argue that the Liberal Democrats had ensured they were firmly anchored in the political centre ground.

He will say that without reform, there was a risk of a “total collapse” in public support for the whole principle of welfare.

 

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