Coalition government allows politicians to express their differences more openly rather than resorting to "fisticuffs", Nick Clegg said in the wake of allegations that Labour's Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander almost came to blows during a row in 2012.
The Deputy Prime Minister said his agreement with Prime Minister David Cameron to be open about differences in opinion meant arguments did not get played out behind closed doors or lead to violence.
Mr Clegg spoke after allegations appeared in the Mail on Sunday that shadow chancellor Mr Balls and shadow foreign secretary Mr Alexander had to be dragged apart during a row over Labour's policy on Europe.
Pro-Europe Mr Alexander was reportedly angry at his fellow shadow cabinet member for leading Labour's backing of rebel Tory MPs in a Commons vote demanding an EU budget cut in October 2012 while he was on a trip to the United States.
The newspaper claims former cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell had to separate the pair, whose relationship allegedly worsened while they served as part of former prime minister Gordon Brown's inner circle in government.
Mr Clegg said coalition government meant such differences are resolved more diplomatically.
He told BBC Five Live's Pienaar's Politics: "The story is quite innocent. It was something that you were talking about earlier which is how do you express differences in politics inside parties as well as between parties as well as working together?
"Actually the remarkable thing about this coalition, and this is exactly what David Cameron and myself both said from different positions right from the beginning is that we would work, we do work, we will continue to work in a manner which is respectful of each other's differences, not in any way hiding them, being quite open, being forceful in the language we use about those differences but not personalising it and certainly not resorting to fisticuffs.
"My experience is most people outside politics for some reason get this much more quickly than people in politics. Most people outside politics say yeah i work with colleagues at work who I don't agree with but I still do stuff together with them because we have to work together'.
"And it's exactly the same in a coalition and that's why we will carry on till May 2015 and I think most of the British people are getting used to the idea that hey, maybe this is not a bad thing to have different parties in one government because it means that they can thrash stuff out more openly rather than have all of those arguments as they were between Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander either become violent or just simply play out behind closed doors.
"I think in many ways it's a more open form of politics and I think that's a good thing. I very much believe that coalition will be a more regular feature of British politics, probably not every parliament, I can't predict obviously what's going to happen at the next election, but I think for that reason all of us politicians need to be more open about what are our priorities."
Asked whether he would be able to beat Mr Balls in a fight, Mr Clegg said: "I'm doing kickbox lessons in a gym to keep myself fit so who knows, if I keep doing that maybe I'll stand a chance. I'm not going to make ringside predictions in such a closely fought contest. By the way I'm rubbish at it but I just do it to try and keep vaguely fit."