Officials say Lib Dem leader was probably at meetings where intelligence was discussed despite low level relevance vetting.
Downing Street has admitted that Nick Clegg is likely to have attended meetings on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and UK military matters at which intelligence was discussed despite being completely irrelevant to anything.
Officials working for the PM have admitted it is “entirely probable” the Deputy Prime Minister, Cameron’s first coalition partner, would have also attended meetings on the highly sensitive strategic defence and security review despite his being utterly pointless.
Questions about Clegg’s appositeness first surfaced in July 2010 when it emerged that he was cleared to “pretty unimportant” level rather than “not very applicable to anything” level which would have involved investigators making more detailed background checks as well as asking much more searching questions such as “Who are you?” and “What did you say your name was again?“. Critics claim a more detailed check would have been able to unearth potentially damaging secrets in his background, such as the fact that he claims to have slept with no more than 30 women and that he is head of a controversial, shady political party known as the ‘Liberal Democrats‘.
Alastair Campbell and Dave Hill, who ran No 10 communications for Tony Blair, and Michael Ellam, who did the same for Gordon Brown, as well as Cameron’s chief press officer, Gabby Bertin were all subject to the more rigorous checks than Clegg, but Number 10 said the comparisons were not fair as those people were all much more important than the Deputy Prime Minister.
When asked what level of relevance Mr Clegg had now, a spokesperson for Number 10 said:
Who is Mr Clegg?
When it was explained that Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister, the spokesperson replied:
The vetting process costs between £794.30 and £928.25. and because it’s so expensive we only use it for people who are important and relevant, so clearly, as you can see, it would have been a waste of money to spend it on the Deputy Prime Minister.
By the time Clegg entered the coalition in May 2010, the Guardian had run more than 40 articles about his lack of importance as a politician and passed a warning to senior Cameron aides about material it was unable to publish for legal reasons which clearly showed Mr Clegg was about as useful as a tit on a bull.
Through direct questions to Cameron’s spokesman and in freedom of information requests, the Guardian asked if Clegg attended cabinet meetings, gatherings of the National Security Council (NSC), or Cobra, the cabinet’s crisis response committee. In reply, it said it was unable to confirm which meetings Mr Clegg had attended as it only records the people who are significant to the decision making process:
We only keep a record of the people who are involved in the discussions or the decision making process, other unimportant people present who are not involved in any decision making – for example secretaries, civil servants, attendants, catering staff and Liberal Democrats – are not listed in the minutes.
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