Joey Essex and Nick Clegg
Joey Essex posed for a selfie with Nick Clegg after interviewing the Liberal Democrat leader Getty

Joey Essex has followed in the footsteps of political inquisitors Andrew Neil and Jeremy Paxman after grilling Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. The Only Way is Essex (Towie) star quizzed the deputy prime minister as part of a forthcoming documentary for ITV 2 on the general election.

But the 24-year-old seemed to be confused about the correct pronunciation of Clegg's party's name. "Why are they called Liberal Democats? It's a long word innit?" Essex asked the Liberal Democrat leader.

He later claimed that the name has "got cats in it" after Clegg explained the party's history to the celebrity.

Why are they called Liberal Democats? It's a long word innit?
- Joey Essex

Essex, who apologised for not wearing a suit, then posed for a selfie with the Liberal Democrat leader.

The party changed its website logo to feature a cute feline in tribute to the reality star's "cats" reference.

The meeting comes with just 37 days to go before general election on 7 May, with Labour and the Tories neck-and-neck (35% vs 35%) in the latest poll from YouGov.

Clegg earlier in the day announced that a Liberal Democrat government would commit to £3.5bn funding for mental health care in England over the next parliament.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain on track and provide both a stronger economy and a fairer society with strong public services," Clegg argued. "Only the Liberal Democrats can and will make sure mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health, with money to back that up, and challenge the stigma every day."

Elsewhere, Labour promised to cut business rates for small firms and the Tories pledged to create an extra two million jobs.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, attacked David Cameron on his failure to meet his "tens of thousands" net migration pledge.