Friday, November 30, 2007

Charles Kennedy to be EU Commissioner?

Jon Worth points out that Peter Mandelson's term as Britain's EU Commissioner runs out in 2009 and he has said that he does not wish to be reappointed.

So who will take his place?

Worth names four principal candidates:
  • Patricia Hewitt
  • Charles Clarke
  • Geoff Hoon
  • Charles Kennedy
Charles Kennedy to Brussels is an intriguing thought, though I am mystified by Jon Worth's claim that his appointment would "divide the Lib Dems".

I am sure we would all be pleased to see Charles get the job. If anything, it would solve the problem of what the party should do with him in the UK - a problem the new leader will soon have to face.

Though perhaps the demand that he return to the front bench comes more from the media than from the Lib Dem membership?

Thanks to Devil's Kitchen (not that I read it, you understand).


Jon Worth said...

Sorry, perhaps my phrasing was a little loose. I did not mean that Kennedy himself is a divisive figure, more that how much Lib Dems should cooperate with Labour is a bit of a divisive issue for the party - Brown trying to give jobs to Ashdown, and others in the Lib Dems seemingly more favourable towards working with the Tories.

More generally Kennedy was my 'Brown's big political tent' wild suggestion - there could of course be others...

Jonathan Calder said...


I don't think that a Lib Dem accepting a Commissioner's post would be too controversial.

When we had two Commissioners the convention was to have one from Labour and one Conservative. So the possibility of having a Commissioner who is not from the governing party is well established in our political culture.

Sadly, I don't suppose the offer will be made, but it's an intriguing idea.