Clegg admits Lib Dem 'pasty tax' leaflet was wrong
By Western Morning News | Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 05:30
Nick Clegg has been forced to disown a Liberal Democrat election leaflet produced in Cornwall blaming the Conservatives for the "pasty tax".
The Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader has made clear his party "signed off" on the controversial levy.
A leaflet calling for people to back Lib Dem candidate Joseph Swain at a Truro City Council by-election last month stated: "Stop The Tories Taxing Our Pasties! Vote Joseph Swain Today."
The proposal to close a VAT "loophole" for hot take-away pasties featured in the Budget, which Mr Clegg confirmed was agreed by senior Conservatives and Lib Dems.
Confronted with the leaflet on the BBC's The Sunday Politics show, Mr Clegg said: "I clearly disagree with that because as you quite rightly point out that was a Government decision – not popular in Cornwall. I dare say that you might be able to find some Conservative candidates who will be campaigning against this so-called 'pasty tax'."
The leaflet stated: "Joseph Swain and the Cornish Liberal Democrats are campaigning hard to stop the London-based Tory party putting a tax on one of our County's best-loved icons. Labour care more about sausage rolls. By voting Lib Dem today you'll be voting to aid the campaign to save the Cornish pasty industry, which the Conservatives have put under threat."
The by-election was won by Conservative Adam Desmonde.
Labour Cornwall councillor Jude Robinson said: "How much longer can Lib Dems in Cornwall keep up the dishonest charade of opposition to the Tories?"