Nick Clegg: I don’t want my children to follow me into politics

Deputy Prime Minister tells Radio Times that he would “do everything to try to discourage” his children from following in his footsteps – and reveals himself to be a fan of easy-listening radio

The brickbats he has received since becoming deputy Prime Minister in 2010 may have taken their toll on Nick Clegg.

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He has, he has admitted, been spat at in the street and had dog excrement put through his letterbox.

So perhaps it is not a surprise that the Lib Dem leader and LBC broadcaster says he wouldn’t encourage his three sons to follow him into politics.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine out on Tuesday the politician is asked what he would say if one of his children wanted to pursue a political career.

“I think I’d do everything to try and discourage them,” he replies.

“I’m like any parent. The first, most visceral instinct you have as a parent is you want to protect your children, and politics is a very rough business you know. It’s absolutely not for the faint-hearted or the thin-skinned, so I wouldn’t likely recommend to my children to go into politics.”

In the interview Clegg also discusses the even tougher experiences of his Dutch-born mother Hermance who was interned along with her family by the Japanese military in Java during the Second World War.

He says: “I’ll never forget, it was a few years ago, we were all together one day with my parents and… my mum just suddenly started talking.  It all came out, she talked for hours about her experiences. Incredibly moving, very powerful. So it’s as if, as an adult, I’m trying to catch up with a part of my mum’s life that was very important to her.”

The politician, who also appears on the phone-in Call Clegg on LBC, reveals that he likes listening to Magic and Heart stations while his Spanish wife Miriam is a fan of US TV show The Good Wife.

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* The new issue of Radio Times is published on Tuesday