Nick Clegg faces young voters in the Live Lounge

Nick Clegg and Chris Smith
Image caption The Deputy Prime Minister and Newsbeat's Chris Smith

Newsbeat hosts the second in a series of big interviews with the politicians who want your vote.

The Lib Dem leader was quizzed by 11 young voters for Ask the Leaders in a special half-hour programme.

Mr Clegg said that the people who can vote for him will recognise he went into government, back in 2010, at a "difficult time".

He also outlined his party's plans for tackling the housing crisis.

You can watch the full interview here on BBC iPlayer

These were the big talking points.

Who would he join in a coalition?

"I wouldn't enter into a coalition into for instance UKIP or the SNP, in the same way I would never put Nigel Farage in charge of Europe." Mr Clegg said.

"I would never put the SNP in charge of a country they want to pull to bits," he added.

Tuition fees

Nick Clegg famously apologised for going back on his promise not to raise tuition fees. And he was forced to explain that decision again.

"I'm not prime minister, I lead a party of 8% of MPs in Westminster, in politics as in life you can't always do what you want," he said.

"There are more young people on full-time courses in English universities than ever before, more kids from black minority backgrounds than ever before.

"Under the system introduced by the previous Labour government thousands of students on part-time courses had to pay up front.

"We've ended that, you don't need to pay anything up front.

"You only need to pay years after university and if you can afford to do so."

Mr Clegg reckons he will keep his seat in parliament, despite these posters appearing around his constituency in Sheffield Hallam.

Nick Clegg
Image caption Nick Clegg faced some tricky questions from young voters


It's now estimated there are fewer than 750,000 16-to-24 years olds out of work and Mr Clegg was proud of getting the number down.

"Youth unemployment is far too high, but it is considerably lower than it was five years ago.

"I think one of the real success stories of the past few years, is apprenticeships, we've had over two million new apprentices start over the last few years."

Then Mr Clegg faced a tricky question from young voter April, who complained she can't see when she's ever going to be able to buy her own place.

"We just don't build enough homes.

In politics as in life you can't always do what you want
Nick Clegg

"The most reliable estimates suggest we need to build around 300,000 homes a year... for a long time to make sure there are enough homes for people to live in.

"We would introduce in the next parliament something called help-to-rent.

"It's basically a loan from government, up to £2,000 in London and £1,500 outside London.

The deputy prime minister also had another idea to deal with the housing crisis: "We want to introduce something called rent to own," he said.

"It involves you renting a newly-built property from a housing association.

"But every time you pay rent, you build a stake of ownership in it, so over time you can actually own the property."

He also revealed that would still a cost be at market rent.

It was safe to say April wasn't impressed, because of the rent prices already being too high where she lives in east London.

Nick Clegg
Image caption He also defended *that* apology


Finally Mr Clegg defended the rare political move of apologising for breaking a promise, something which will probably follow him forever (perhaps because of *that* musical version).

"I think I'm entitled to say do you know what unlike Ed Miliband who was part of a government which crashed the economy and he's never apologised, I apologised.

"Unlike David Cameron, who said we're going to get immigration down to tens of thousands, he's broken that promise, has he apologised?" he said.

"I've done something different, I've put my hands up like most people do in normal life, and said 'I'd have liked to do something, and I couldn't and I've apologised for it.'"

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