Thursday, October 18, 2007

We need a proper leadership contest

With Steve Webb announcing this morning that he is not to stand for the leadership, it looks as though we may be down to a Clegg vs Huhne contest.

I think that is a great shame. I should have liked to see both David Laws and Steve Webb standing. That way we should have a lively contest with a range of opinion represented and a number of personable candidates.

And there would have been much more chance of the Liberal Democrats recapturing the public imagination.

What I fear now s that we shall have a repeat of the last leadership contest. Then Lib Dem MPs largely closed ranks around Ming Campbell - David Steel went so far as to call on them to ensure that Ming's was the only name on the ballot papers set before the membership. The press was pretty solidly behind Ming too.

All this meant that there was little proper debate. And the party chose the wrong leader as a result.


Anonymous said...

I don't think Ming was the wrong leader. He just was the right leader in wrong time. I wish he had stood in 1999.

Bernard Salmon said...

I agree that we should have had as wide a field as possible and I too am disappointed that Steve Webb is not standing. In the absence of anyone else, the only other person who has said that he'd want to stand against the two frontrunners is John Hemming, and I have published a post at calling on MPs to nominate him to stand, even if they don't actually want to vote for him.