Campbell comments on Brown’s offer to Shirley Williams

Ming Campbell has reiterated that Liberal Democrats will not accept seats in Gordon Brown’s Government following the latest approach to a Liberal Democrat by Gordon Brown.

Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams has been invited to advise the new Prime Minister on nuclear proliferation. Baroness Williams will discuss the offer with Ming, Lord McNally, the party’s leader in the House of Lords, and with the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, where she is one of the Board of Directors.

Ming Campbell said:

There will be no Liberal Democrats in Brown’s Government. I have no objection to and indeed welcome an initiative which results in Liberal Democrats acting in an independent advisory capacity or participating in an independent commission or investigations which make independent recommendations on policy to the Government. The conditions for taking part which must be satisfied are that participation is not token, there is a proper remit which allows for independent analysis and conclusions, and that there is a reasonable prospect of their advice being accepted and their conclusions being implemented.

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4 Responses to Campbell comments on Brown’s offer to Shirley Williams

  1. Neil Earl says:

    I agree fully with the position taken by Ming Campbell. The Liberal Democrats are the only true opposition to Labour … and the party would be severely compromised by accepting any positions in Brown’s government.

  2. Dave Rickard says:

    When Ming was attacked on Question Time for his delay in answering Mr Brown’s invites, I was surprised that he didn’t point out that he wasn’t an autocratic leader like Blair but the leader of a party of teamwork, deliberation and concensus and it would have been precipitous under the circumstances of an unexpected offer of that kind to have made an ‘on the hoof’ and categorical judgement, even if his gut feeling was plainly obvious.

  3. Mike Falchikov says:

    I cannot understand why the media find such difficulty understanding the difference between an appointment as an independent adviser, with a clear remit and a guarantee of independence and joining a one party government as an individual member of another party, especially a party with which that individual’s own party is in broad disagreement.
    Anyway, Brown made it quite clear to Andrew Marr todayon BBC’s “Sunday am”. Every member of his government, he said, would be required to stick to the government line, not just, it would seem, on areas for which they were responsible, but on every aspect of government policy. Not much chance, therefore, for Paddy Ashdown if having gained support within Cabinet for an innovative approach to Northern Ireland, he then chose to speak out, for example, against ID cards or nuclear power.

  4. Ted says:

    I think the world of Sir Ming, Lady Williams, Lord Ashdown (and others); top notch public servants: honest, intelligent, sincere. However, the reality is that the Party is not sustainable, regardless of the truly world-class leaders the party offers. I believe that Lib Dems should put pride aside and embrace the opportunity to govern instead of perpetually sidelined as permanent opposition MPs/Peers. Lib Dems, in my view, should influence policies from within, either in coalition or as a subset of the big two. Lib Dems, as a group, are too talented to be irrelevant.

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