The Liberal Democrat leadership contest takes a new twist today, with the front-runner, Sir Menzies Campbell, effectively anointing Nick Clegg as his successor. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the acting party leader says that 39-year-old Mr Clegg - seen by some as the Lib Dem answer to David Cameron - will at some stage be "a very powerful candidate for the leadership".It happens that I agree that Nick Clegg will make "a very powerful candidate for the leadership". He would have made a very powerful candidate this time. He should have stood. If he had I might well have voted for him.
But the next-leadership-but-one is not in Ming's gift. By hinting that he believes it is, he is doing neither his campaign nor Nick Clegg's reputation any favours.