His startling lack of machismo is mirrored in his policies: he wants more time for dads at home, more time for women to chase high-flying careers. From 2015, parents can share up to one year of “parental leave” after the birth of a child. They can take time off together, take it in turns, or the father can take it all.
Clegg’s commitment to equality in the workplace is strident: “We really are squandering the talents of so many women in our country,” he says, “particularly in comparison with other countries, where there are a higher proportion of women working in high-paid, high-quality jobs.”
In part he blames this on the current system of maternity leave (women get a year, men two weeks), which he describes as “antiquated and out-of-step” with modern parenting. “We had rules that only worked in a world that no longer exists. I dragged these rules into the 21st century,” he says. “There are still people who think we should pigeonhole men and women.” …
… they are not really like “any other couple”. A day in the life of the Cleggs is not for the faint-hearted. This morning he got up at 5.30am and after two hours “catching up on paperwork”, he made the children breakfast and, “walked them to school in the rain”. He and Miriam are strict about ensuring one of them takes them to school and one of them is always there to put them to bed.
“We are pretty disciplined about that. When it’s my turn I will race off to south-west London, read them a story and put them to bed. Then I come back to Westminster. I work until late. Sometimes Miriam has to travel and I do more, sometimes I have to travel and she does more.” He quickly adds: “I don’t say that with any smidgen of regret, I am incredibly happy as a dad to three lovely boys.”
You can read the interview in full here.
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