Nick was and is a good guy, and actually I don't have any secrets of past behavioural indiscretions anyway. My only real recollection of him was that he was a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA). Robinson was a small college, and not very sympathetic to the Conservatives, and CUCA only had around 40 members in a College of around 300 undergraduates.
I checked my membership records, which I show opposite. I was the Chairman of CUCA in the Lent Term 1988.
Please bear with me, as I take you through the details, neccessary as Nick is denying having been a member.
The records I attach above are those from the year 1986 - 1987, when I was a second year (listed) and amongst the first years was one "N Clegg". The "A" after his name meant he had paid an annual subscription. Most members joined for life; it was a better deal, and I recall the fees were something like £2 for a year's membership and £3 for life. The handwritten annotations on the list actually come partly from one of that year's internal CUCA elections (Easter Term 1987), when I was running for Registrar of CUCA (the arrows and crosses), where I was relying (the arrow) on Nick's support. The thicker black lines were from an election the following year in 1987-88, where, in my writing, I have crossed off all of the previous year's 3rd years (as they were no longer there) and anyone who had only joined for the one year and not renewed - hence the thicker black ink line through the name of "N Clegg".
So I am certain that Nick Clegg was a member of CUCA, only for his first year, 1986 - 1987. For the avoidance of any doubt, there was only one "N Clegg" at Robinson College - you can see him opposite, listed in the "Robinson College Record", under "Freshmen 1986".
There's nothing to be ashamed of in having been a member of CUCA. You could be a member without becoming a member of the Conservative Party. Interestingly, having checked with the then Chair of the Cambridge University SDP and the Chair of the Cambridge University Liberals, they have no recollection of a Nick Clegg, so it seems he showed interest in only the Conservatives at the time.
This wouldn't normally matter much - after all, I was 20, and he was 19, and this is 20 or more years ago. But imagine my surprise when Jonathan Isaby of the Daily Telegraph took an interest in the matter, and has run it in today's paper's "Three Line Whip" column here. Clegg's spokesman says "Nick is one hundred per cent adamant that this isn't true." You can make up your own mind, using the documents above. There was only one Nick Clegg at Robinson College, and Nick Clegg was a member of CUCA.
During the recent Lib Dem leadership race, Chris Huhne alleged that Nick had a Conservative past, which was also flatly denied by Nick's people. If I were Nick, I would come clean about it - it is long ago - and move on.