March 9, 2014 8:19 pm

Clegg vows to remain head of Lib Dems

YORK, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, takes questions during the annual spring conference on March 8, 2014 in York, England. Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats have gathered for their spring conference in York under the imaginary banner claiming we're not the Tories or Labour and we're definitely not Ukip. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)©Getty

Nick Clegg has promised to remain at the head of the Liberal Democrats for at least the next six years, after a flurry of speculation about his leadership threatened to derail the party’s spring conference.

A spokesman for the deputy prime minister said he would remain as leader even if the Lib Dems were forced out of government after next year’s general election. He said: “Nick Clegg intends to be the leader of the Liberal Democrats today, tomorrow, into the 2015 election and through the whole of the next parliament.”

Mr Clegg was forced to clarify his position after Danny Alexander, Treasury chief secretary, was accused of lining up a leadership bid in the event that Mr Clegg was forced to step down after the next election.

Allies of Vince Cable accused Mr Alexander of running a shadow leadership campaign after the Financial Times revealed he was likely to replace Mr Cable as the Lib Dems’ economy spokesman during the next election campaign.

One MP told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s obvious that Danny’s now on manoeuvres and sees himself as a future leader.”

Mr Alexander sought to play down such rumours, telling Sky News: “There’s no vacancy, I hope there isn’t a vacancy for many years to come.”

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