"I'm comfortable with the term 'political poodle' if it means being the winning poodle," Nick Clegg told a rapturous crowd at the end of the Lib Dem conference. "First we win a place in government, now we're best in show."
Clegg was in defiant mood over alleged divisions on the NHS bill. "Yes, we have our differences and no, we're not afraid of debate. Which is why when I see the Prime Minister I can look him in the face and say three important words 'Milk. In. First.' The Lib Dems are unequivocally the milk-in-first party. Whether that cup of tea is served in an NHS hospital or by a private provider, that's irrelevant. What matters is how Liberal Democrats up and down the country have changed policy for the good of everyone when it comes to this age old debate. I want to thank Shirley Williams for her hard work on these vital changes, and for her brave persistence preparing for the obedience test.”