Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Times: Lib Dem revolt puts Kennedy on brink

The lead story in this morning's Times reports:
A revolt by senior Liberal Democrat MPs has left Charles Kennedy fighting to save his leadership of the party.

An attempt by Mr Kennedy to pre-empt a growing rebellion within his ranks at Westminster was rebuffed yesterday at a private meeting of his Shadow Cabinet.

Facing an unprecedented crisis of confidence, the Lib Dem leader tried to stamp on peculation by urging his most senior colleagues to stop briefing against him and rally behind him.

But his plea was rejected when he faced 30 minutes of criticism of his leadership style, with senior figures insisting that the issue could not be shelved any longer.

There are also the usual nudge, nudge mentions of Kennedy's health.

Peter Riddell contributes a more considered piece:
A deliberate shift either to Right or Left (a choice denied by many Lib Dems) would risk losing votes and seats. In that respect, Mr Kennedy is right to try to carve a distinctive path, such as the emphasis on civil liberties. The real question is about effectiveness rather than intentions: about the absence of a sharp cutting edge and sense of direction.

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