Azara Blog: Charles Kennedy throws in the towel

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Date published: 2006/01/07

The BBC says:

Charles Kennedy has resigned as Liberal Democrat leader.

In a statement at Lib Dem HQ, Mr Kennedy said he had been "inundated" with support from party members since admitting having a drink problem.

But he had decided to quit immediately because it had become clear he did not have strong enough support among MPs.

Deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell has said he intends to stand in the leadership race. Simon Hughes and Mark Oaten could be among his rivals.

Mr Kennedy's resignation comes after 25 MPs delivered an ultimatum saying they would refuse to serve on the Lib Dem front bench unless he resigned by Monday.

Poor Charles Kennedy. But his position had certainly become untenable, there is no way you can be leader when a large number of your MPs do not want you to be leader. Evidently they had had enough covering up for his drink problem. Campbell is by far and away the most credible LibDem, and will probably be the next leader, but he is too old to be a future Prime Minister (of course, the LibDems will not be providing a Prime Minister any time soon, so it is less of an issue).

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