Nick Clegg's visit to Bristol called off in mix-up with council over election rules
A VISIT by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to Bradley Stoke was cancelled when a council refused to allow him to hold a question and answer session in one of its school buildings.
South Gloucestershire Council told Mr Clegg he could not use Bradley Stoke Community School for last night's event due to election rules, according to the Liberal Democrats.
But a spokesman for the party said there was nothing in Electoral Commission guidelines to say political question and answer sessions could not be held in school halls and public buildings in the run-up to an election.
The spokesman said the cancellation of the event, which was due to be attended by more than 100 people including pupils at the school, was "very disappointing" and added that it was a "complete one-off".
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He said: "We had it all agreed with the school and a number of pupils were due to be asking Nick questions. We had been working with the school for the last few days.
"We've never had a problem like this anywhere else in the country for a Q&A session.
"We've heard some good things about the school. It's good for Nick to see the progress these schools are making and he would have liked to have met the pupils.
"We do these sorts of visits once a week at the moment and see various parts of the country.
"Nick would have met the Liberal Democrat councillors on South Gloucestershire Council and seen (Thornbury & Yate MP) Steve Webb. Instead we extended some of our other visits in Wales."
The spokesman said the Q&A would be rearranged for a later date.
He said: "We would like to keep the venue the same. With Nick's diary, it's very difficult to rearrange things at short notice."
South Gloucestershire councillor Ruth Davis, a Liberal Democrat representing Yate Central, said: "It's disappointing because effort had gone in to organising it and now it's come to be delayed. But he is coming back on a later date."
South Gloucestershire Council and Bradley Stoke Community School were unavailable for comment last night.