Gaffe as Clegg forgets name of policing tsar for his own constituency

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg dropped an embarrassing clanger on air yesterday after admitting he didn’t know the name of the Police and Crime Commissioner in South Yorkshire – where he is an MP.

Mr Clegg was taking part in a phone-in with presenter Rony Robinson on BBC Radio Sheffield when he admitted he had “momentarily forgotten” the name of PCC Shaun Wright.

The South Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, tweeted: “Nick Clegg on @BBCSheffield admits not knowing who is the @SYPCC Nuff said.”

BBC Radio Sheffield’s James Vincent tweeted: “Nick Clegg can’t name his own Police Commissioner. During @BBCSheffield phone in he was asked who SYork’s was. ‘I’ve momentarily forgotten’.”

Fair Deal 4 Sheff, which proclaims itself as a “people’s petition for a fair deal for Sheffield”, Tweeted: “@Nick_Clegg admits he doesn’t know who the @SYPCC is. The new system his government spent tax-payers money on.”

Mr Clegg was being interviewed when he was asked the name of South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, to which he replied: “I’ve momentarily forgotten”. BBC Radio Sheffield’s Rony Robinson, responded “Isn’t that extraordinary?” to which Mr Clegg replied that was his “failing” before adding: “But it’s also, dare I say it, the problem that PCCs appear to be a lot of recycled politicians... who need to get out of their office and communicate with people.

“They really need to work a lot harder if they want to do better in the next PCC elections and get more people voting for or against them.”

A spokeswoman for PCC Shaun Wright said it would not be fair to comment on the matter as it was “a political issue”.

South Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Neil Bowles said: “As the deputy prime minister and a Sheffield MP, it is extremely sad that Nick Clegg did not know the name of the Police and Crime Commissioner in South Yorkshire.”