Nick Clegg
The Liberal Democrat leader also said others parties gave women seats as a "consolation prize"Getty

Nick Clegg has criticised his own party for having a diversity problem and claimed the Liberal Democrats are "too male and pale". The deputy prime minister also blasted the other main political parties for giving seats to women as a "consolation prize".

"Our parliamentary party is too male and pale. If we want to represent modern Britain, we have to have modern Britain represented in us. Now, this is going to sound like excuses; it's not," he told BBC Radio Four's Woman's Hour.

"But one of the challenges we have as a party unlike the two larger parties is they can kind of disperse constituencies and candidacies for winnable seats a bit like consolation prizes around to candidates; we can't do that because we've always had to painstakingly work year in, year out before people even win elections."

Clegg explained his party is making sure that, where Liberal Democrat MPs are standing down, they are replaced by female, black and ethnic minority candidates as well as candidates with disabilities.

The party has 57 MPs but only seven are female and none of those representatives sit in the cabinet. But three of the female MPs are ministers in the coalition government, including Jo Swinson. The senior Liberal Democrat spoke to IBTimes UK in February about her party and the forthcoming general election.

The latest poll from YouGov put the Liberal Democrats on 7%, well below its 22% share of the vote in 2010. The data means the party faces losing up to 50 seats after May's vote, according to the Electoral Calculus.

The survey, which questioned more than 1,800 voters between 17 and 18 March, also put Labour on a two-point lead over the Tories (36% vs 34%).