Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Wera Hobhouse drops out of Lib Dem leadership race and backs Layla Moran

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Stephen Bush writes on the New Statesman site:
Wera Hobhouse has ended her campaign for the Liberal Democrat leadership and has thrown her weight behind Layla Moran, cementing the Oxford West and Abingdon MP’s status as the candidate to beat.

In a statement to her supporters, the Bath MP said that “we must accept that we are no longer the best vehicle” to deliver her aims of “pulling our party firmly to the centre-left, rebuilding our local government base, securing a progressive alliance, and moving effort and resources to our regions”.

In a coded rebuke to Ed Davey, the party’s deputy leader, MP for Kingston, and Moran’s sole rival for the leadership, Hobhouse warned against becoming a "London-centric" party. Moran described herself as "delighted" to have received Hobhouse’s endorsement.
I am not sure those who fear a London-centric party will see an Oxford-based leader as a huge bonus. In recent days I have seen people noting that the launch of Layla's Build Back Better document featured speakers from London, Oxford and Cambridge - and nowhere else.

And I suspect Wera's campaign was damaged by a rather less coded rebuke to Ed Davey the other day.

Still, this must be a boost for Layla even if it is odd for a party that worships the single transferable vote to end up with just two candidates.

Me? I voted for Ed last time but am definitely Layla curious. She is the Pardoe in this contest, after all.

1 comment:

Steve Comer said...

I like the Steel-Pardoe analogy, especially as I was a steward for the count of that election at Polar Town Hall, so to follow this through:
In 1988 Ashdown was the 'Pardoe' and Beith the 'Steel'
in 2006 Hughes and Huhne were 'Pardoes' and Campbell the 'Steel'
In 2007 Huhne was the 'Pardoe' and Clegg the 'Steel'
In 2015 Farron was the 'Pardoe' and Lamb the 'Steel'

These are clear cut, but I'm not sure about 2019 and 1999.
2019 looked a bit like a battle between two Steels, but on balance I would give Swinson the 'Pardoe' crown
1999 on paper looks like a fight between one 'Steel' (Bruce), and 4 'Pardoes', but then Kennedy had a lot of establishment backing. So is 1999 the exception that proves the rule>

(....And before you ask, I voted Pardoe, Ashdown, Hughes, Huhne, Bruce, Farron and Swinson, and will vote Layla!)