Hit or Miss - Nick Clegg is left red-faced after making comments about his colleagues in public

Air head?: Nick Clegg was phoning senior colleagues this week after he was said to have listed their faults out loud on a crowded aircraft.

The Sunday Mirror reported that the 'gaffe-prone' Liberal Democrat leader and his aide, Danny Alexander, spent a flight to Inverness plotting a reshuffle. The paper told how Clegg 'slated key members of his cabinet'. A beleaguered Clegg described the report as 'almost complete fiction'.

HOW I SEE IT - JAMES O'KEEFE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TETRA STRATEGY

It's not so much what you say, but where you say it. Nick Clegg's clanger was not his actual comments, which were tough but fair. It was merely that he aired them within earshot of bystanders.

Not a good idea for the leader of a political party who relies to a significant degree on the support and goodwill of his MPs. Since his appointment, Clegg has suffered a few momentary lapses of concentration that afflict all party leaders from time to time.

It is unlikely that this incident will impact on perceptions further than the Westminster bubble. I also think it reveals a determination to want the best out of his top team. Nonetheless I would like to see what he puts in his Christmas cards to his front bench this year.

MISS

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