UK Politics

In pictures: Clegg and Cable pub visit show of unity

Media captionNick Clegg and Vince Cable look 'sheepishly like a couple on a first date'

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have put on a show of unity with a visit to a London pub.

The event, to highlight law changes to help pub landlords, came after Mr Cable was forced to deny involvement in a friend's plot to unseat Mr Clegg.

The two men poured pints before sitting at a table in the pub, watched through the windows by TV crews and reporters.

As they left Mr Cable said they had talked about the law changes. Mr Clegg said they had had a "very nice drink".

The rare joint appearance by the two men began with Mr Clegg taking on the barman duties, pulling a pint:

But there was little sign of bitterness between the two senior Lib Dems:

The mirror made the pub look a bit busier than it actually was:

Despite appearances, our man at the scene, Norman Smith, reported that Mr Cable finished his drink. Mr Clegg managed about half a pint - but then it was still before midday and a day before the Queen's Speech.

Were they enjoying seeing the media pack, over Norman Smith's shoulder, getting wet outside?

The two avoided all plot questions as they left through the media scrum:

Later, Mr Cable was asked if he felt at all awkward in appearing with his party leader after last week's row over leaked opinion polling about Mr Clegg's electability led to the resignation of his long-time friend Lord Oakeshott from the party.

"Absolutely not," he replied. "You know we work together. I support his leadership. We are going to move on from very difficult elections and I'm optimistic that we are going to turn this corner."

BBC News Channel chief political correspondent Norman Smith likened the encounter to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown buying ice creams together while on the campaign trial during the 2005 general election, at a time when relations between the two were strained.

Media captionTony Blair and Gordon Brown enjoy an ice cream in 2005

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