Norfolk MP denies Wikileaks allegation

Norfolk Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb has dismissed an allegation that he has admitted to being 'right wing'.

The accusation resulted from a disclosure on the WikiLeaks website about a note, written in March 2009, of a conversation he had supposedly had with a political counsellor at the US embassy, Greg Berry.

The note quoted him as saying that David Cameron and Nick Clegg - now prime minister and deputy prime minister - 'do not get along personally'.

It also reported that he said: 'We see Labour as our competition, and the Conservatives as our opposition. Most Lib Dems are instinctively and ideologically against a coalition with the Conservatives, including right wing members of the party like myself'.

Mr Lamb - now Mr Clegg's chief parliamentary aide - told the EDP that he had not knowingly ever met Mr Berry.

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He had been informed, he continued, that the note had come from a meal he had had with journalists in 2008 at the Harrogate spring conference. No-one had then taken notes, he continued, but he was subsequently told that one of the people at the table was from the American embassy.

'I have always seen myself as a centre-left politican, and I still do', he said.

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He is on the 'reforming' wing of his party, and is 'not a fan of the central state', he continued. 'But I have never thought of myself as right wing, even in terms of the Lib Dems'.

The 'right wing' reference was picked up by Norwich Green councillor Rupert Read who posted a statement on his website that 'Norman Lamb admits he's right wing'. It continued: 'It just goes to show once again - what everyone is now realising - that a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for the right of British politics, not the centre or the left, let alone from greens.'

Mr Lamb, the North Norfolk MP, added yesterday that Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg had had little contact before the general election, but had quickly realised when they sat down together immediately after it that they could work together to resolve Britain's problems.

'Going into coalition with the Conservatives was the right thing to do, given the election result and the state of the public finances', he added.

More on Wikileaks: see page 5

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