Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A sighting of former Lib Dem MSP Keith Raffan

Ashley Cowburn, political correspondent of the Independent, tweeted this cutting of a letter to the press by Keith Raffan. You can find it online towards the bottom of this Evening Standard page.

Raffan, once a sketchwriter for the Express, was Conservative MP for Delyn in North Wales between 1983 and 1992.

I know a university friend of his who met Raffan on a train during this period. He says that though Raffan was wearing an Alan B'stard suit and doing his best to come over as a Thatcherite, you sensed his heart was not in it.

Raffan was at heart a very liberal Conservative. He favoured drug reform and supported Anthony Meyer, the 'stalking horse' challenger to Margaret Thatcher in 1989.

He later resurfaced as a Liberal Democrat MSP, beng elected from the Mid Scotland and Fife list in 1999. He was re-elected in 2003, but resigned the following year on health grounds amid controversy over his expenses.

I knew Keith Raffan slightly as we were on the Lib Dems' federal policy committee for a while, and he was an engaging companion.

Now he is voting Labour. But then I suspect the average Duke would turn socialist if he ran into an organised body of Kensington Tories.

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