Following the news that Gordon Brown has decided not to hold a general election this autumn, Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell spoke live to BBC News 24. He said:
“There’s no doubt people will see this as a loss of nerve on the part of the prime minister.
“It follows the mishandled trip to Iraq which upset many people, including the announcement on troop numbers which turned out not to be all it seemed.
“His predecessor as Prime Minister promised to serve a full term and didn’t. Gordon Brown should have called an election when he took office.”
Commenting on the way the news that there will not be an election has emerged, Ming said:
“Labour is yet again spinning even with this announcement. The Prime Minister is not willing to face the barrage of questions the public have the right to expect him to face over the date of the next general election.
“The Prime Minister has belatedly put an end to the charade of last few weeks.
“He could have prevented needless speculation by making this announcement long before now.
“Gordon Brown has been acting in the interests of the Labour Party and not in the interests of the country.”
Ming again criticised a system which allows the Prime Minister to choose the date of the general election, firing the starting gun for a race in which he’s running. He told the BBC:
“The only way in which to get certainty in these matters is to have fixed term parliaments, as they do in Scotland.
“The prime minister of the day will always be inclined to put the interests of his party ahead of the interests of the country. That is not acceptable.”