The Sheffield Hallam MP says he is considering a future outside of Parliament
The former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is yet to decide whether he will stand in the next general election.
Speculation about his future has been ongoing for some time and in a wide ranging, exclusive interview with JUS News, Mr Clegg has refused to confirm whether he plans to continue as the MP for Sheffield Hallam.
“There’s no point me pretending I am sure that I am going to carry on for another five years in Parliament because I’m not”, he said.
“I’m in a take it step-by-step phase of my life at the moment.”
In a shot at his former boss in the coalition, the 50-year-old added: “I’m going to carry on being an MP until the end of the Parliament for sure – I’m not going to disappear in a puff of smoke like David Cameron.
“But whether I’ll stand again in 2020, I don’t know yet. I’ve got a bit of time to make my mind up.”
Mr Clegg has been Sheffield Hallam’s MP since 2005 and became leader of the Liberal Democrats two years later.
In September last year, he said he would decide on his future within the next year, but asked directly if he now knew when he would decide, he said: “No, I don’t have a date in the diary, but the election is not for another three years, so between now and then. Obviously I’ll tell folk here, locally, first.”
After the Liberal Democrats won just eight seats in the 2015 election, Mr Clegg resigned as leader and was replaced by Tim Farron. In tandem with the national collapse in the party’s vote, Mr Clegg’s majority was cut dramatically to 2,353 at the last election.
He said: “I genuinely don’t know if I am going to stand again, and indeed – if I were to stand again – whether I would be re-elected or not. I don’t take any of these things for granted.
“Politics is very fluid at the moment, I think it’s not very sensible to take premature or very fixed decisions when everything is very fluid.”
Mr Clegg did not give any indication of what he would do if he did step down, but he has recently released a new book, Politics: Between the Extremes and taken a strong stance over Brexit.
“Honestly, I don’t have some sort of pre-set plan, it also depends what Miriam (his wife) wants to do. She has her own career, our kids are growing up.
“One thing I can rule out is that I won’t be going to the House of Lords, ever. No, I wouldn’t be a Lord.”