Two-horse race likely for leadership of UK Liberal Democrats
Friday, October 19, 2007
The leadership election for the Liberal Democrats, the UK's third party, is looking increasingly likely to be between two candidates. Environment spokesman Chris Huhne, who launched his leadership bid on Wednesday 17 October, has been joined in the race today by his frontbench colleague Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman. All other likely contenders have ruled themselves out.
Steve Webb, chair of the party's manifesto group and considered to be on the left wing of the party, gathered enough support from Liberal Democrat MPs to stand. But he withdrew from the contest and gave his support to Mr Clegg, citing the "huge cost" to his family if he became leader and his confidence in Mr Clegg's abilities. Backbencher John Hemming, who had stated his intention to stand, ruled himself yesterday, saying that he has been unable to gather the necessary seven nominations from Liberal Democrat MPs. Mr Hemming, MP for Birmingham Yardley, wrote on his blog: "I will, however, not decide for now who I will support and I will announce that in the future when I have discussed matters with the other candidates and colleagues in Birmingham."
- Tania Branigan. "Boost for Clegg as potential rival stands aside in Lib Dem race" — , October 19, 2007
- "Clegg launches Lib Dem leader bid" — , October 19, 2007
- "'Be bolder' urges Clegg as he launches leadership campaign" — , October 19, 2007
- "Clegg picking up Lib Dem backers" — , October 18, 2007
- John Hemming. "Leadership Election" — , October 18, 2007
- "Huhne launches leadership battle" — , October 17, 2007