Building meets Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

Interview with Nick Clegg

In this week’s issue, new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron outlines in an interview where his party stands on the big issues facing construction (page 30). His predecessor Nick Clegg spoke to Building in 2008, having been elected to the post the year before. The deputy prime minister-to-be discussed an array of topics including why the government was getting eco-towns and PFI wrong, his desire for stricter standards for new build, and why he never made it as a novelist…

Emily Wright reported: “Unlike many of his contemporaries, Clegg didn’t have his sights sets on his current role from a young age. His early 20s were spent exploring a trial and error approach to life. The Cambridge graduate started off working in a bank and, when that didn’t work out, spent nine months as a consultant: ‘I was terrible at it,’ he laughs. ‘I just couldn’t pull off telling big corporate clients what they should think when they clearly knew a lot more than I did.’ In the early nineties, he spent a brief spell in Hungary, reporting for the Financial Times. He even had a shot at writing a book … ‘Oh God, yes. It was the worst novel in the history of the universe. It was the story of the memories of a dying tyrant. Really gloomy. No wonder it was doomed.’”