Friday, January 20, 2006

Who Has Kennedy's Backing?

The Scotsman today has a report that Simon Hughes has the backing of former leader Charles Kennedy, following Simon's visit to Dunfermline and West Fife yesterday. This comes after days when Mark Oaten, who has now withdrawn from the leadership elections, claimed similar support.

However, what both Simon and Chris have said is that Charles encouraged them to put their names forward not that he was necessarily backing them. Charles said that he wanted a contested election so that the party members could reclaim their right to being consulted on this issue. Therefore, it would be obvious that, for such an election, to have credence the other two people perceived as potential leaders, Hughes and Oaten, needed to also be in that race. Chris Huhne was not seen as being part of that equation and was very much a surprise contender; his current level of support is also taking many by surprise.

The Scotsman report also mentions this will fuel suspicions that Charles Kennedy was seeking an election as he did not want his deputy to be crowned his successor. The Scotsman itself speculates that this may be because of the part that Sir Menzies Campbell played in his downfall.

2 comments:

Peter Pigeon said...

Stephen

I saw this but did not want to tred on your patch! I thought that claiming to have Kennedy's support was rather dangerous, given what happened to the last candidate who said he had it.

Susanne said...

Stephen

I suspect there is an element of truth in this with a media slant put on it. We are forgetting the anger and sense of betrayal. Charles must be feeling. Simon & he have always been quite close. It would be ridiculous to presume he has cut himself off from everybody overnight.

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