Thursday, June 16, 2005

Paul Holmes 36 Matthew Taylor 23

Paul Holmes, the East Midlands' only Lib Dem MP, has been elected as the new chairman of the Parliamentary party, reports The Scotsman. He beat the previous chair Matthew Taylor by 36 votes to 23.

Holmes was one of the founders of the Beveridge Group within the party, which was set up to "promote Beveridge's message of civic responsibility and public accountability in public services". In practice this means that they want more spending on public services but are not so keen on structural reforms. Which makes the group rather conservative, though its members probably see themselves as radicals.

The Beveridge Group has a website but has not otherwise not been noticeably active. Nevertheless, there are some Liberal Democrat Kremlinologists who will see Holmes' victory as a snub to the Orange Book tendency, even though Matthew Taylor was not one of the contributors to the book.

Matthew Taylor's response was to say:
"The Parliamentary party had a clear choice to make. They have decided to follow the route of the Conservative and Labour parties in choosing a backbench representative to chair their meetings."
I am sure it was kindly meant, as an Alan Bennett character might say, but that quotation becomes a little more patronising and self-aggrandising every time you read them.

Thanks to Will Howells for the tip.

No comments: