Two-horse race likely for leadership of UK Liberal Democrats

Friday, October 19, 2007

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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.

File:Chris Huhne.jpg
Chris Huhne

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."

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"United Kingdom's Liberal Democrat leader resigns" — Wikinews, October 15, 2007