“He runs the risk of giving politicians a good name”
“He is reasonable, eloquent and appears entirely trustworthy”
“He has proved as intelligent and decent a politician as you’ll find in the Commons”
“No television or radio broadcast on Iraq has seemed complete without his measured, authoritative insights … all the while delivering a ruthless critique of government choices”
Ming Campbell is one of the most respected and successful politicians of his generation.
He grew up in Glasgow, was educated at Hillhead High School and went on to the University of Glasgow. where he was a contemporary of both John Smith and Donald Dewar studying Law and debating in the Union.
As a successful university level athlete Ming ran the 200m for the GB team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and become captain of the UK Athletics Team 1965-66. He held the British 100m record from 1967 to 1974.
In his professional legal life Ming was called to the Scottish Bar as an Advocate in 1968, but continued an association with the Scottish Liberal Party which he had held since University. In 1975 he became Chairman of the Scottish Liberal Party, and in 1982 a Q.C.
Ming is a strong and effective grassroots campaigner: in the General Elections of 1979 and 1983 Ming worked the constituency of North East Fife, for decades a safe Conservative seat. Each time he reduced the Tory majority, bringing the Liberals closer to winning, until 1987 when Ming won with a majority of 1,447. Since then Ming and the local team have achieved large Liberal Democrat majorities as his local, national and international profile has grown.
In Parliament he has served primarily as a defence and foreign affairs spokesman, becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since 1997 and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2003.
He was the Leader of the Liberal Democrats from March 2006 until October 2007.