Azara Blog: Lib Dems want to get rid of Kennedy

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Date published: 2005/12/14

The BBC says:

Charles Kennedy has told Liberal Democrat MPs he intends to lead them into the next election, as he fights for his political life.

Mr Kennedy addressed them at a routine meeting, which followed criticisms from inside his own "shadow cabinet".

Afterwards, Mr Kennedy said he had received "overwhelming" support from MPs who spoke at the meeting.

But in a BBC News interview, he refused to say whether deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell had backed him.

Concerns about Mr Kennedy's performance were voiced at a meeting of the Lib Dem "shadow cabinet" on Tuesday, but nobody asked him to resign.

The BBC has learned that some frontbenchers considered writing a letter threatening to resign if Mr Kennedy did not quit as leader. But they never sent it.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said nobody would challenge Mr Kennedy in the next few days but they could attack him again in the future.

Kennedy is an intellectual lightweight. His main claim to staying on as leader seems to be that the Lib Dems did better at the election in May than in a very long time. But that was because some Labour supporters voted against Tony Blair by voting for the Lib Dems. Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, there is nobody else around who would be a more credible leader other than Menzies Campbell, and he is too old. The rest of them are also intellectual lightweights.

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