Monday, May 08, 2017

David Steel bigs up Tim Farron

On the New Statesman website, the former Liberal Party leaders praises the current Liberal Democrat leader as "the most under-rated politician in the UK today".

Sir David writes:
I have known and highly regarded him since I first met him as leader of the student Liberals at Newcastle University. 
In 2005 he defeated a right-wing Tory MP by just 250 votes. At the next election in 2010 he jumped to a 12,000 majority, much of which he retained in the debacle in 2015. 
Twice he has persuaded me to address his annual constituency fundraising dinner saying “it is just over the border” – actually more than a 200 mile round trip over Hadrian’s Wall. I was deeply impressed by his hold on the good people of Cumbria. 
Indeed his election as party leader against Norman Lamb, who had been an excellent minister, was partly because party members wanted someone less identified with the post-Coalition disaster. 
He is a committed Christian, which I regard as a plus, and I do not understand the fuss about his alleged views on homosexuality or abortion since we have always accepted that these are matters of conscience for individual MP’s not for party diktat. 
His track record as MP showed him willing to oppose some of the errors of the party, especially the student fees fiasco. He is vehemently anti-Brexit.
I prefer the slightly mischievous David Steel of today to the David Steel who led the Liberal Party when I joined it.

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