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Welcome back Charles

Nick Robinson | 12:53 UK time, Monday, 30 January 2006

Charles Kennedy returns from his holiday today where, if he's sensible, he will have read no papers, no e-mails and picked up no phone messages. I have a picture in my head of the moment he asks "Has much happened while I've been away?" It'll be the first real test of his vow to stay off the bottle.


  • 1.
  • At 02:20 PM on 30 Jan 2006,
  • Peter D Smith wrote:

CK returns to a party who must now see him as the best candidate for leadership; I hope he remains "dry"
What is equally of concern is that if CK’s actions were a breech of party rules the wall of complicit silence from the Westminster Liberal Party must be equally a breech of the same rule.
I feel the leadership will be passed to Sir Menzies Campbell as a temporary posting.
Should we consider an amnesty to all politicians to permit them to come clean, or should we risk being placed in the position of the USA electorate; that of selecting for appointment snowy white politicians with little skill or acumen.

Is it really inconceivable that Charles should not say - "I am sorry, lads and lasses, but I've thought about this and I want to put my fitness to lead directly to the Party and then prove that I can lead the Party before the nation." He's smoked out the whisperers, placed his problem out in the open, seen off one serious challenger from the right and seen the other (from the left) weakened. Everyone knows Campbell is a stop-gap, decent and sound though he is. A straight fight between Kennedy and Huhne could get a lot of issues (rather than personality concerns) out into the open and the Party could make a judgement on whether to go for the flawed popular one or the unknown other. It would be decisive - or do Party rules and media custom forbid a "return from the political grave" so soon? I am not a Liberal Democrat but only Kennedy and Huhne would remotely interest me as a voter (despite my sincere respect for Campbell).

  • 3.
  • At 09:19 PM on 30 Jan 2006,
  • will wrote:

Not entirly understanding politics, but willing to learn, can we just CK back to leadership?


  • 4.
  • At 03:36 PM on 31 Jan 2006,
  • P Wyndham Little wrote:

With Brown and Cameron fighting it out for the centre ground at the next election, a stop-gap leader under the aging Campbell is likely to lead to a heamorraging of voters away from the LDs over to the Tories. It's not too late to bring Charlie back, and failing that, the only option open to the LDs is Huhne, who might, I think, just surprise us all as the only good thing to come out of this sorry affair.

In response to P Wyndham Little: Although I agree with you over Campbell, why choose Huhne when you can have the real thing in Hughes?

IIRC Huhne has a 500 vote majority in his own constituency, how on earth could he spare the time to campaign around the UK when a single street not turning out to vote could loose him his seat?

Just for the record, my Lib Dem pals tell me that Charles K. cannot come back in this particular election because of party rules. They are very depressed about the whole farrago. As an outsider, I sense a strong movement towards Huhne as new blood who might take on Cameron and hold the party together - and even recover some ground. We watch and wait ...

  • 7.
  • At 11:24 AM on 02 Feb 2006,
  • Tom Shires wrote:

On Holiday! George Galloway has just been pilloried in the press for being away while the house sits and not a whiff of comment abot CK. They have enough time off without having to take holidays during "term time". I could understang if it was "sick leave"

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