Nick Clegg speaking on his LBC radio phone-in
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Nick Clegg accuses Boris Johnson of 'careless elitism'

Nick Clegg has accused Boris Johnson of "careless elitism" for suggesting that some people are not clever enough to succeed in life.

Mr Johnson said in a speech that 16% "of our species" have an IQ below 85, and called for more to be done to help the brightest people in the country.

But Mr Clegg said it was "fairly unpleasant" to talk about people "as if we are a breed of dogs".

He said politicians should be "instilling an opportunity culture" rather than sending out such a "dispiriting" message.

Speaking on his weekly LBC radio phone-in, Mr Clegg said that the danger of such a "deterministic" view of people based on their IQ was "complete anathema to everything I have stood for in politics".

Mr Johnson made his comments as he delivered the Centre for Policy Studies' annual Margaret Thatcher lecture.

He said that any discussion about equality had to take account of the fact that people had different IQ levels, adding: "The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top."