Welcome to the Campbell campaign blog

Thank you

March 1st, 2006 by Web Team

March 1, 2006: As the poll closed for the Liberal Democrat leadership election, Ming Campbell issued the following message:

I want to thank everyone who has voted in the leadership election and the very many people who attended hustings up and down Britain over these past two months. I want to thank my superb team for their tireless efforts to support my campaign.

This is the third time that Liberal Democrat members have voted to elect a party leader.

I would be proud to follow Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy and I would relish the chance to champion the great cause of liberalism in debate against Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

That decision is one for Liberal Democrat members. Whatever the outcome tomorrow I look forward to campaigning alongside Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne in the weeks, months and years ahead to put the Liberal Democrat case to the country.

Your questions answered (podcast)

February 25th, 2006 by Web Team

Here, as promised, is the first of the answers to questions received via the Ming Campbell podcast question hotline and via email:

Jim Elliott called to ask about how we should deal with residual household waste:

Listen to Jim’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 595kB)

Ted Finnegan called to ask about the responsibilities of the media during military conflict:

Listen to Ted’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 888kB)

Julian Teasey called to ask a question about image:

Listen to Julian’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 353kB)

Andrew C. emailed to ask about relations between the British and American Governments:

Listen to Andrew’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 689kB)

Roger Hole emailed to ask about Ming’s views on the NHS:

Listen to Roger’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 612kB)

Ernest Smith emailed to ask about ‘Axe the Tax’:

Listen to Ernest’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 496kB)

Wendy Marchant emailed to ask about Labour and civil liberties:

Listen to Wendy’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 617kB)

Finally, John Hipkin emailed to ask about the pressures of leadership:

Listen to John’s question in full and Ming’s reply (MP3, 443kB)

We will upload a transcript shortly.

If you want to ask your own question, please call the hotline on 07747 867259.

David Laws explains why he is backing Ming Campbell (podcast)

February 25th, 2006 by Web Team

I think the other thing that was striking when you met Ming and saw him in action was to understand the deep passion that he has for a fairer society.

David Laws MPWelcome to the ninth Ming Campbell campaign podcast. In this interview, David Laws MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions, explains why he is backing Ming to lead the Liberal Democrats.

Listen to the David Laws podcast (MP3, 1,717kB)

If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. Just select the link above, and if your computer has speakers or headphones, you should be able to listen to the interview. You can find out more about podcasting on the BBC Radio website.

If you do know what a podcast is, and would like to link to the feed in your podcast software, the address of the podcast feed itself is listed at the bottom of the page.

See a complete list of all podcasts »

Read a transcript of the ninth podcast »

Shirley Williams: Ming is widely admired for his judgement, his wisdom and his thoughtful championing of fundamental freedoms.

February 22nd, 2006 by Web Team

Baroness Williams of CrosbyI am supporting Ming Campbell to become leader of our Party.

Liberal Democrats can celebrate the commitment, talent and hard work of our MPs and peers. These qualities will take us much further given time and experience. Ming Campbell is the leader we need to guide us through the challenging years ahead. Years in which security and liberty need to be carefully balanced, years in which we need to mobilise people of all races and religions to reject violence while seeking greater social justice here and in the world beyond.

Ming is widely admired for his judgement, his wisdom and his thoughtful championing of fundamental freedoms. He refuses to play the game of spin. He deserves our support.

I hope you will give him your 1st preference vote.

Thank you to the bloggers backing Ming (part II)

February 22nd, 2006 by Web Team

It’s been a while since our first thank you to the bloggers backing Ming.

Thanks to the hard work of the Pigeon Post blog, here’s an updated list of the bloggers who’ve said that they are backing Ming. There’s been an encouraging, and sharp, increase in support over the last week.

  • Simon Radford

    Principle and policy can and should trump populism. Only someone like Ming has the authority to restructure our policy accordingly.

  • James’s Cabinet of Curiosities:

    Sir Menzies has the experience, and the respect in parliament to really put Bliar/Brown and ‘Dave’ in their places. As well as take the party on to further electoral success. He comes across as a warm and friendly bloke as well, definitely another ‘real human being’.

  • Owen Griffiths, Tinned Spam:

    His adherence to the center – anti authoritarian – left is appealing; and rings with what I understand liberalism to be. Consistently on policy he rang true.

  • David Walker

    Which leadership candidate can most confidently be trusted to lead a principled and united party in the next General Election – and earn more votes, more Members, more power in the land?

    I believe that person is Ming.

  • John Hemming MP

    There were two particular parts of his speech which were clearly distinct from the other two candidates.

    Firstly, he made it clear that we should be a campaigning party raising issues from a local to national level.

    Secondly, he talked about the 1.6 Million families waiting for housing and the 700,000 empty homes.

  • Rob Knight, author of the excellent Liberal Review:

    I believe that when voting for a leader, I should vote for the person most likely to stand up for the principles that I believe in. Of all three of the candidates, Ming Campbell is the most consistent in doing this. Much has been made of his “gravitas” and, although I think this can be exaggerated, I think he has the credibility to ask serious questions of the government.

  • Stephen Tall, A Liberal Goes A Long Way

    I like his definition of leadership: “I believe in leading not following; setting goals and objectives; shaping events not being shaped by them; taking responsibility and discharging it; being both candid and confident; neither dictatorial nor prescriptive, but consultative and committed.”

  • Steve Travis

    Ming is most in touch with the issues that matter to the electorate.

  • Cicero’s Songs:

    This is a man with the intelligence and knowledge to make a great Prime Minister.

  • Phil Grant at John Bright’s Body

    Ming’s ability to communicate liberalism clearly and calmly has impressed me more has the contest has progressed.

  • Dave Smithson is the first of our bloggers to be photographed with Ming:

    I am backing Ming to win the race, even if it is a marathon and not a sprint!!

  • Joe Otten

    Not policy, but values, conviction, gravitas, these are what matter. Because Ming doesn’t reflect the interests of a section of the party’s activists, he is the more uniting force. He shows the greater consistency of message, the better support and the more character. This is why it has to be Ming.

  • Iain Sharpe, Eaten by missionaries

    He gets my vote for a number of reasons. He is a good liberal – sound on civil liberties and the core liberal issues, and the least collectivist of the three candidates. The policy direction he sets out shows that he has a wider political worldview than just foreign affairs and that he is willing to embrace the ideas put forward by some of the younger members of the parliamentary party.

  • Simon Mollan at Inner West

    Any assessment of the candidates in this election has to judge how they will go down in the urban areas and regions within which we hope there will be an orange revolution of sorts. This means Scotland and the North; and it means Ming.

  • Mary Reid on Read My Day:

    Ming Campbell is the candidate who is best placed to unite the party and give strong leadership. He is the only one who is described by the media as a statesman, and perhaps what we need now is some gravitas.

  • Andy Darley, And Then He Said…

    There is one failing a leader of the third party cannot have – they cannot be dull.

  • Chris Ward:

    Ming was one of the first senior politicians I ever met, and he is one of the very few that left a lasting impression. As the press so rightly say, “he never walks, he strides”. Ming commands respect from all sides of the political spectrum, and he has the knowledge, the experience, the gravitas, and I insist on this next one, the youth to take our party further than we ever have been before.

  • Colin Ross:

    Unsurprisingly, as my background is in campaigns, I am interested in which candidate will help us win the most votes and seats and for me that is Sir Menzies.

  • Dave Radcliffe is another person photographed with Ming:

    As you can see from the photo, I’m literally behind Ming [I'm the black clad bloke on the right]

  • Sally at Sally’s Journal:

    He opened his mouth and I fell in love. He could make me laugh. He could make me cry. He could move me with a personal anecdote, or inspire me with a broad vision. He filled me full of hope, hope that had been squeezed out of me over the last lean years. Hope that people could make a difference in politics. Hope that the changes that labour have made that grieve me to the core could still be overthrown with the right government. Hope that he would do what was unpopular for the sake of doing what was right. Hope that there were people who still believed in what was Good, and that the Liberal Democrat party was a place to find them…

  • Peter on the Apollo Project:

    All the candidates have said things I agree with. But more than anyone else, Ming offers the whole Liberal agenda. For a Lib Dem breakthrough, a Ming is the thing!

If you are a blogger backing Ming, you can download a button from this site. Please post a comment if you would like to be included on this list.

Ming Campbell talks to Nicola Davies and Liz Barker (video)

February 21st, 2006 by Web Team

Ming Campbell talks to Nicola Davies and Liz Barker about the women who have influenced him in his life and about his desire to see a more representative House of Commons:

If you have difficulty viewing this video, for example if you only get sound and don’t have pictures, you may need to upgrade your copy of the Flash Player. This is quick and easy to do. The latest version of the Flash Player is available here.

Read the transcript of Ming’s discussion with Nicola Davies and Liz Barker »

Ming Campbell on ‘Any Questions’

February 17th, 2006 by Web Team

Ming will be on ‘Any Questions’ on BBC Radio 4 this evening at 8.00 p.m., with a repeat on Saturday at 1.10 p.m.

You can find more details on the BBC website.

UPDATE: You can also listen to this week’s edition on the BBC website for the next 7 days.

Paddy Ashdown: Campbell is best man to lead Lib Dems

February 17th, 2006 by Web Team

The Guardian today has an interview with Paddy Ashdown where he explains why he is intervening in the current contest to succeed Charles Kennedy and supporting Ming Campbell to lead the Liberal Democrats.

Lord Ashdown boasted a CV as a former royal marine, diplomat and businessman who had been an MP for five years when he was elected as leader.

“It was like entering a secret garden. Almost nothing you have done beforehand, except experience in Westminster politics, can do it,” he said. “I was not a good leader of the party for the first few years: it took me a while to learn. Experience is an important aspect.”

What we need is someone who will give the party credibility and professionalism and show they are serious about power.

Want a button for your site?

February 15th, 2006 by Web Team

For some reason, we’ve never got round to blogging about the existence of the Campbell Campaign downloads page.

If you want a copy of Ming’s manifesto, or a leaflet to hand out, or a button or banner for your site, they’re all there.

I'm backing Ming

Another page we’ve not blogged about is the page showing Ming’s recent parliamentary record. If we had to rely on Hansard, it would be a ton of work. So many thanks to the people at TheyWorkForYou.com for providing the RSS feed that made it the work of about 20 minutes to set up.

Ming Campbell understands the need to tackle the over concentration of power in Westminster.

February 15th, 2006 by Web Team

Readers of the Guardian’s letters pages may have noticed the following letter from Liberal Democrat council leaders across the UK backing Ming Campbell:

Dear Sir,

We are Liberal Democrat Leaders of Councils from across the country.

Despite the many obituaries written for our party over the last few weeks the stunning result in the Dunfermline by-election has demonstrated the potential for further advances.

Now the party must decide who is best able to realise that potential and lead us to further success. We are backing Ming Campbell as the best candidate to lead our party forward. We believe that he has the experience, judgement and credibility necessary to capitalise on the by-election and galvanise the party with a clear sense of purpose.

Ming Campbell understands the need to tackle the over concentration of power in Westminster. Giving power back to local communities and trusting them to take the decisions that affect their lives stands in stark contrast to Labour and Conservative.

Ming Campbell has the leadership qualities needed to unite our party and provide the principled liberal opposition to both Brown and Cameron as they fight over the Blair inheritance.

We urge local party members to give him their wholehearted backing.

Yours faithfully

Cllr Cathy Bakewell,
Leader of Somerset County Council

Cllr Gill Ferguson,
Leader of Waverly Borough Council

Cllr Cheryl Green,
Leader of Bridgend District Council

Cllr Brian Greenslade,
Leader of Devon County Council

Cllr Heather Kidd,
Leader of South Shropshire District Council

Cllr John Morrison,
Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council

Cllr Derek Osbourne,
Leader of Royal Borough of Kingston

Cllr Simon Partridge,
Leader of North Norfolk District Council

Cllr Paull Robathan,
Leader of South Somerset District Council

Cllr Tony Robertson,
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr Andrew Smith,
Leader of Chichester District Council

Cllr Mike Storey,
Former Leader of Liverpool City Council

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson,
Leader of Portsmouth City Council

Paul Burstow MP: It should be no surprise that the people who know Ming best, who have worked closest with him over the years are backing him.

February 14th, 2006 by Web Team

Paul Burstow MPAs a backbencher and as a former colleague in the shadow cabinet I have no doubt that Ming is the person best equipped to take on Brown and Cameron and give the party a distinctive and authentic liberal cutting edge.

Ming’s mastery of foreign affairs and his leadership on Iraq mark him out as a statesman with the experience that counts. I believe his skill as a parliamentary debater and his ability to communicate the party’s message in the media are assets that he would bring to the leadership of our party.

It should be no surprise that the people who know Ming best, who have worked closest with him over the years are backing him. He inspires loyalty and respect from colleagues. I have no doubt he will give our party a renewed sense of purpose and build the team in Parliament and the country to capitalise on the Dunfermline result and achieve further success in the May council elections.

I like the fact that Ming has made his campaign about values. He is right to say that people don’t want another management company competing over how best to run the status quo, lets leave that to Labour and the Conservatives. His instincts are liberal, his passion is for social justice.

Alistair Carmichael MP: I am excited and inspired by the idea of having Ming as our leader.

February 13th, 2006 by Web Team

Alistair Carmichael MPI remember the first time that I met Ming Campbell. It was over twenty years ago when I was President of the Glasgow University Liberal Club and we were looking for a Liberal to stand for the rectorship of Glasgow University. This was some years before he was elected as MP for North East Fife and long before he had acquired the national respect and standing that he enjoys today. As soon as I met him, however, I knew that we had found our candidate.

Campaigning with and for Ming has never been a chore. In fact, it is great fun because he is someone you can believe in. He can articulate the liberal vision in a way that few others I have ever known can manage. He has an instinctive feel for the correct liberal view on any issue.

The Liberal Democrats are at their best when they are distinctive and true to their own principles and beliefs. In an age of spin and sound bite Ming Campbell can be a leader of substance and vision. I am excited and inspired by the idea of having him as our leader.

Ming Campbell: the authority to provide principled liberal opposition to an increasingly illiberal, centralising New Labour government

February 12th, 2006 by Web Team

In case you missed it, the Times published the following letter yesterday.

Dear Sir

We are all members of the current Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet.

The last few weeks have been turbulent and challenging for the Liberal Democrats. Our party has faced considerable difficulties from a major media onslaught.

In this context, the outstanding result for Willie Rennie and his team in Dunfermline is the clearest possible reply to our critics and opponents who have been so quick to write us off.

The next major crossroads for the party is the election of a new leader in early March. We are all supporters of Ming Campbell’s leadership bid. Having worked closely with him, we believe he possesses the experience, judgement and credibility to preside over significant new advances in our party’s fortunes. He possesses the undoubted authority to expose the superficial charms of David Cameron and provide principled liberal opposition to an increasingly illiberal, centralising New Labour government.

We urge the party to give him its wholehearted backing.

Yours faithfully

 

Vincent Cable MP
Nick Clegg MP
Ed Davey MP
David Laws MP
Sarah Teather MP
Alistair Carmichael MP
Norman Lamb MP
Michael Moore MP
Andrew George MP
Norman Baker MP
Tom Brake MP
Don Foster MP
John Thurso MP

Of the 24 members of the Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet, 15 (including Ming) are backing Ming’s campaign, 5 are undeclared and a combined total of 4 are backing other candidates.

Ask Ming – podcast question hotline: 07747 867259

February 12th, 2006 by Web Team

We’re currently collecting questions from party members for Ming to answer on one of his campaign podcasts.

All questions are welcome, although we can’t at this point guarantee to answer all of them in the first podcast since we don’t know how many we are going to get.

But, if we can’t answer your question in the first podcast, we’ll try to answer it on the website or in a subsequent podcast.

If you have a question for Ming, just call 07747 867259 at any time. Your question will be recorded and, if selected, played in the podcast.

If you would prefer to submit your question by email, just send it to ask.ming@campbellcampaign.org.

The Times: ‘the most committed to the modernisation of his party’

February 11th, 2006 by Web Team

The Times has backed Ming Campbell’s campaign to lead the Liberal Democrats:

In their different ways, both Simon Hughes, emphasising his undoubted political passion, and Chris Huhne, placing the weight on his obvious novelty, are offering their party more of the same.

Intelligent Liberal Democrats will recognise that this is not enough. If their party is to be a credible and responsible potential partner in office, what it needs is not passion or novelty but change.

Perhaps paradoxically, it is the oldest contender in this competition who is the most committed to the modernisation of his party. It is thought that Sir Menzies will benefit from this by-election upset in his own backyard. If he does not, the longer-term prospects of his party as well as Labour might be no better than the deceased royalty of Scotland.

Interactive Campaign Map: a world first?

February 10th, 2006 by Web Team

We’ve just installed a new interactive map on the site showing upcoming meetings, Mings speeches and messages of support from around the UK.

Take a look at Ming’s campaign map »

It’s automatically updated as new information goes on the site or new meetings get added to Flock Together.

Is this the first Google Maps ‘mashup’ by a political website in the world? No idea. But it was fun to do.

Campbell hails victory in Gordon Brown’s backyard

February 10th, 2006 by Web Team

Ming Campbell campaigns with Willie Rennie in the Dunfermline by-election
Welcoming Willie Rennie’s sensational victory in the early hours of this morning, acting Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell said:

This shows that there are no “no go areas” for Liberal Democrats. This is conclusive proof that the public will respond with enthusiasm to the Liberal Democrat vision for Britain.

If anyone in the media – in the Westminster village – or elsewhere doubts the electoral vigour of this party they must stand up and take notice now.

In Willie Rennie, we have yet another superb parliamentarian. If I have the honour of being elected to lead this great party, I look forward with confidence to welcoming very many more to our parliamentary ranks.

Paddy Ashdown: why I am supporting Ming Campbell

February 9th, 2006 by Web Team

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-HampdonDear Fellow Member,

Since I was elected leader of our great party, we have grown in size and influence in every year, at every election and at every level.

Now our members must decide who should lead the Liberal Democrats to the next level.

The decision that we take is vitally important. After all, our ambition must be to break the 100 seat barrier and challenge for government.

But to take this step up, to reach this next level, we will need a leader of undisputed authority and credibility.

That is why I am supporting Ming Campbell.

All three candidates have their strengths. But Ming is not just a party leader, he is also a national leader. He is a politician with the stature to take on and beat Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

My judgement is that the British public will tire of a politics characterised by flim-flam and modishness. If elected, Ming will offer principled leadership based on values and conviction.

I believe that in the next period of our politics – that will be set against the backdrop of a growing crisis in the Middle East and the challenges of nuclear proliferation – foreign policy will play an unusually large part in the future of our country and the Western world.

Ming Campbell is also the candidate with the greatest experience. Nothing can prepare a person for the challenge of becoming a party leader. What we need is someone with a proven track record in parliament and politics. A leader who has consistently shown the character and judgement to command the confidence of his colleagues.

And crucially, the new leader also needs to be a strong team player. It is no coincidence that Ming has the backing of the overwhelming majority of parliamentarians and members who have worked alongside him. He is also the person who can provide the leadership and professionalism necessary to inspire and unleash a uniquely talented new generation of Liberal Democrats.

So I will be giving my vote to Ming Campbell. But we have a proud democratic tradition in the Liberal Democrats: every member has a vote, and every vote counts equally.

This is an important decision, so do please use your vote.

 

Paddy

I know real liberals, Mr Cameron, and let me tell you – you are no liberal

February 8th, 2006 by Web Team

February 8: Ming Campbell issued the following statement shortly before arriving in Dunfermline for eve of poll campaigning:

Yesterday, David Cameron invited local Lib Dems in Dunfermline to join his party.

Let me explain why this invitation is laughable, and will not be taken seriously here in Scotland or anywhere else in the country by Lib Dem members.

Mr Cameron has made clear his admiration for Mr Blair – sometimes it seems as though the feeling may be mutual.

Mr Cameron wishes to be seen as a liberal. Mr Blair wished to be seen as a liberal in his early years.

But being a liberal is not about what you say, but what you do. Mr Blair no longer even pretends to be a liberal.

I know real liberals, Mr Cameron, and let me tell you – you are no liberal.

In his first few weeks, Mr Cameron has shown in his actions precisely which aspects of Mr Blair’s leadership he wishes most to emulate.

Insubstantial policy statements, empty pledges, the obsession with media spin. These are the aspects of Blairism that Mr Cameron has been fastest to adopt – just when they are going out of fashion.

Why have they gone out of fashion? Because people today want their politicians to be honest about their beliefs, to make promises they can keep, and to stand up for Britain�s fundamental liberal values, not to sell them down the river for short term political advantage.

David Cameron’s flip-flops on policy expose his inexperience. He’s still a novice. A leader with L-Plates.

So while Conservatives may think that youth, inexperience, and naivete are the answer to their problems; I say they are not the answer to the country’s problems.

Tomorrow’s Britain needs leaders of experience, proven good judgement, who people know they can trust. That’s my territory Mr Cameron, not yours. And I can’t wait for the chance to put that choice to the British people.

Ming Campbell podcasts on the day the ballot papers go out (podcast)

February 7th, 2006 by Web Team

Ming Campbell MP is interviewed for a podcast by David WalterWelcome to the eighth Ming Campbell campaign podcast. In this podcast, Ming Campbell MP outlines the reasons why he is asking members to vote for him in the leadership election..

Download and listen to the Ming Campbell podcast (MP3, 597kB)

If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. Just select the link above, and if your computer has speakers or headphones, you should be able to listen to the interview. You can find out more about podcasting on the BBC Radio website.

If you do know what a podcast is, and would like to link to the feed in your podcast software, the address of the podcast feed itself is listed at the bottom of the page.

See a complete list of all podcasts »

Read the transcript of the eighth podcast »

The Guardian: ‘Needed: a solid professional’

February 7th, 2006 by Web Team

The Guardian has backed Ming Campbell’s campaign for leadership:

The acting leader is a deep-dyed liberal too, much more so than many people realise. But he combines it with a palpable good sense and judgment that is currently in short supply in the party. Sir Menzies is also articulate and gets most things right. He will not force the party sharply to either the right or the left. He is a more determined figure than his urbane appearance implies. As a result he is respected by all in the party, has few enemies and would not be a divisive choice. This will be an exceptionally demanding period for the Liberal Democrats. Nothing will be easy for the party. But the Lib Dems do not need a shot in the dark. They need a period of solid professionalism. That is why Sir Menzies Campbell is the best man to lead them out of their present confusions and into the searching challenges of the next election.

Read the original article »

The Independent: ‘Sir Menzies is the best candidate’

February 7th, 2006 by Web Team

The Independent has backed Ming Campbell’s campaign for leadership:

The party needs a leader with authority, a leader who will command respect both among MPs and in the country. It needs a leader who will be capable of unifying the party after this period of disintegration, and a leader far-sighted enough to forge the sort of policies that will attract new voters at the next election…

Sir Menzies brings undoubted authority to the role. He has the overwhelming support of MPs and peers, and enjoys respect in the country. He is the one candidate who should be capable of uniting the party’s left and right wings…

As things stand, Sir Menzies is the only candidate with the authority to lead the Liberal Democrats at this difficult time. With the two main parties rapidly converging on the middle ground, British politics urgently needs a strong – and truly liberal – voice…

Read the original article in the Independent (requires a subscription to the Independent portfolio) »

Thirty-one MPs now backing Ming

February 7th, 2006 by Web Team

Sharp-eyed readers of the Western Morning News may have noticed that one more MP announced today that they are backing Ming Campbell’s leadership campaign, bringing the total to thirty-one – more than the other two candidates combined. Ming also leads in support from Lords, MEPs and Council Group Leaders.

Andrew George, MP for St Ives and the Isles of Scilly, announced his support in a letter signed by all the Cornish MPs and Paul Tyler, former MP for North Cornwall, backing Ming’s campaign.

As you will know, a substantial number of readers are Liberal Democrat members, and will be able to vote in the leadership election. It is not surprising, therefore, that many have been asking us which candidate we support.

We know all three well – having worked with them – but we have no hesitation in suggesting that our fellow members of the party put Sir Menzies Campbell first on the Ballot Paper.

Our party needs unity, a clear purpose and firm leadership from a man who can get the very best out of the talented team we now have in Parliament.

We believe that Ming is by far the best person to do this. He has the integrity, professionalism and commitment to radical liberalism we need.

Moreover, he has earned the respect of Parliament and the public, especially over his leadership in our opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

Significantly, his very first campaign visit was to Cornwall. Alone of the candidates he himself represents an area of smaller towns and rural communities. He knows (as we know) just how vital it is that our county benefits from a fairer Britain.

We all six urge our Liberal Democrat colleagues in Cornwall to give Ming Campbell their first preference vote.

Colin Breed
MP for South East Cornwall

Andrew George
MP for St Ives and the Isles of Scilly

Julia Goldsworthy
MP for Falmouth & Camborne

Dan Rogerson
MP for North Cornwall

Matthew Taylor
MP for Truro & St Austell

Lord Tyler

Former MP for North Cornwall

Read the full list of supporters »

Tom McNally: Ming is uniquely placed to give us the leadership and credibility we need

February 6th, 2006 by Web Team

Tom McNallyI am a regular on the Party’s famous “rubber chicken” circuit. I have a peroration which never fails to bring my audience to life. I list two or three of our Shadow Cabinet and their virtues and then I say “And of course, in Ming Campbell we have the Foreign Secretary the Prime Minister wishes he had.” Like all good political knock about it plays well because the audience know it to be true. Ming passes with flying colours what is so often the killer question for a Party Leader at election time; “Can you see X on the steps of 10 Downing Street ready to take responsibility for Government?”

I have known Ming Campbell since we were sent together to canvass a very rough end of Bootle in the Crosby by-election over twenty years ago. He showed the same grit and determination then which still makes my athletics mad elder brother refer to him as “Menzies Campbell the sprinter” and which made him fight and fight and fight again to secure his seat in Parliament.

Add to those personal characteristics an experience and command of Parliament and the trust of his Parliamentary colleagues and you will understand why I believe that Ming is uniquely placed to give us the leadership and credibility we need now whilst at the same time bringing on the richest crop of new parliamentary talent enjoyed by any Party in recent years.

David Walter: Another week in the Campbell Campaign

February 6th, 2006 by David Walter

David Walter reports on this week’s events in Ming Campbell’s campaign:

This week, Ming Campbell had the chance to participate in a great triumph. But as well as being present to watch Scotland beat France at Murrayfield, he has also seen his campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats go from strength to strength.

On Monday, he paid a further visit to the Dunfermline by-election in the constituency next to his own. Many voters told him about their disillusionment with Labour. With a very strong local Lib Dem candidate in Willie Rennie, and as much help as possible from members and supporters round the country, we can look for a very good result next Thursday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah Teather explains why she is backing Ming Campbell (podcast)

February 6th, 2006 by Web Team

He has been that person who has been speaking for … all those people who feel that their voice has been not represented in Parliament, he’s been the one who’s represented their views.

Sarah Teather MPWelcome to the seventh Ming Campbell campaign podcast. In this interview, Sarah Teather MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Community & Local Government, explains why she is backing Ming to lead the Liberal Democrats.

Download and listen to the Sarah Teather podcast (MP3, 993kB)

If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. Just select the link above, and if your computer has speakers or headphones, you should be able to listen to the interview. You can find out more about podcasting on the BBC Radio website.

If you do know what a podcast is, and would like to link to the feed in your podcast software, the address of the podcast feed itself is listed at the bottom of the page.

See a complete list of all podcasts »

Read the transcript of the seventh podcast »

Fiona Hall MEP: Ming has both the authority and the commitment to lead the Liberal Democrats

February 5th, 2006 by Web Team

Fiona Hall MEPLike all Lib Dems, I have been thinking hard over the last few weeks about who to support in the Leadership contest. I’ve been looking for reassurance that the new Lib Dem leader would not only take forward the party nationally, but would also be behind us in the particular challenges we face in the North East.

After an initial conversation with each of the candidates, I sent an open email, jointly with the Regional Chair Eileen Blakey, explaining the North East’s special position as the region with the second largest percentage of the Liberal Democrat vote in the country (in both 2004 and 2005). I asked each of the candidates how as leader they would help us realise our unique potential as a Lib Dem strong-hold.

In the light of the responses I received and further conversations, I am delighted to announce today that I’ll be voting for Ming.

Ming told me:

As the gloss goes off Labour, people will be turning to us in areas like the North East, not to the Conservatives. It is a critical region for us in the future. We need to think about how we invest our resources nationally when we can see this sort of potential.

While it is of course the Campaigns Department who decide how to support local parties, the mood music coming out of the Leader’s office is vital. Ming’s vision extends beyond London and the South East. I also believe that Ming has both the authority and the commitment to lead the Liberal Democrats in the present challenging circumstances.

Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.: conversation, ideas and laughter

February 5th, 2006 by Web Team

Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.Between 1983 and 1997 I was a Liberal Democrat MP. From 1987 Ming Campbell, I and Cyril Smith shared an office in a turret of the Houses of Parliament. At the top of a narrow spiral staircase we enjoyed conversation, ideas, laughter, and the frustrations of daily political life.

In that time I discovered Ming as a thoughtful, clever, judicious, wise and principled person. He is a Liberal to the core, a person of principle and values but never sanctimonious. He has the ability to lead the nation, not just the Party. He will win wide respect across the political spectrum.

Ed Davey explains why he is backing Ming Campbell (podcast)

February 5th, 2006 by Web Team

He gets more out of every hour he puts in than almost any other politician I’ve ever worked with

Edward Davey MPWelcome to the sixth Ming Campbell campaign podcast. In this interview, Ed Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Education and Skills, explains why he is backing Ming to lead the Liberal Democrats.

Download and listen to the Ed Davey podcast (MP3, 1,108kB)

If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. Just select the link above, and if your computer has speakers or headphones, you should be able to listen to the interview. You can find out more about podcasting on the BBC Radio website.

If you do know what a podcast is, and would like to link to the feed in your podcast software, the address of the podcast feed itself is listed at the bottom of the page.

See a complete list of all podcasts »

Read the transcript of the sixth podcast »

Busy day on the media

February 5th, 2006 by Web Team

You can hear Ming on the radio and television today as follows:

Time Station Programme
09.00 BBC Radio Scotland Sunday Live
10.25 ITV1 Jonathan Dimbleby
12.00 BBC1 Politics Show
22.00 BBC Radio 4 The Westminster Hour

Help win the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election

February 4th, 2006 by Web Team

Willie Rennie and his team are campaigning hard to beat Labour in the Dunfermline and West Fife. They need another 10,000 to be raised by 9pm on Sunday.

Chris Rennard's 10,000 appeal

You can help Willie’s campaign by going in person to the Dunfermline by-election HQ or by making a donation now.

Ming will be in Dunfermline again on the eve of poll. It would be great to see you there.

Three more MEPs declare for Ming Campbell

February 3rd, 2006 by Web Team

Welcome to the three Liberal Democrat women MEPs who have declared their support for Ming Campbell to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. This now means that eight of the party’s twelve MEPs are backing Ming Campbell’s leadership campaign.

Yorkshire MEP Diana Wallis, former leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs, Fiona Hall from the North-East, and current deputy leader of the MEPs Baroness Sarah Ludford from London, decided to back Ming after a hustings meeting and individual discussions with Ming Campbell in Brussels.

Sarah explained her support as follows:

Ming has both the authority and the commitment to lead the Liberal Democrats in the present challenging circumstances. He combines passion for Liberal values with a grasp of how to translate those into advances for the party.

As he rightly says, ‘to be a Liberal Democrat is to be a moderniser’. His intention to draw on all strands of liberalism in marking out distinctive territory in British politics will ensure that the party pulls strongly together in the quest for greater electoral success.

Yesterday’s decision by the MEPs to back Ming’s campaign follows on from Jenny Willott MP’s decision to back Ming the day before.

Read the latest list of supporters »

Read the text of Ming’s speech in Brussels »

Jo Swinson explains why she is backing Ming Campbell (podcast)

February 3rd, 2006 by Web Team

The credibility and the experience that we need to lead our party and to be a winner

Jo Swinson MPWelcome to the fifth Ming Campbell campaign podcast. In this interview, the UK’s youngest MP, Jo Swinson, explains why she is backing Ming to lead the Liberal Democrats.

Download and listen to the Jo Swinson podcast (MP3, 699kB)

If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. Just select the link above, and if your computer has speakers or headphones, you should be able to listen to the interview. You can find out more about podcasting on the BBC Radio website.

If you do know what a podcast is, and would like to link to the feed in your podcast software, the address of the podcast feed itself is listed at the bottom of the page.

See a complete list of all podcasts »

Read the transcript of the fifth podcast »

Ming Campbell backs Reflecting Britain’s Leader’s Challenge

February 2nd, 2006 by Web Team

As you may have seen on the Reflecting Britain site, or deduced from the new campaign button on our website (just below the one telling you how to help in the Dunfermline by-election), Ming Campbell has signed Reflecting Britain’s Leader’s Challenge, answered their four questions and added his own personal perspective as follows:

I fully support this statement. Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront in promoting equality and anti-discrimination legislation since 1965. However we have not achieved fair representation in our party for women and ethnic minorities, nor indeed for other under-represented groups such as disabled people and young people. We cannot be at ease with ourselves until our Party is reflective of our diverse communities.

If you agree with Ming, please register your support by going here.

The Reflecting Britain campaign asked four further questions, which Ming answered as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

Norman Lamb MP: it is no surprise that so many Members of Parliament are supporting Ming

February 2nd, 2006 by Web Team

Norman Lamb MPI have held the view for several years that Ming Campbell is one of the pre-eminent opposition politicians in this country. His articulation of the case against the war in Iraq was brilliant. But there have been very many other causes that he has fought with clarity and power.

From a personal point of view, Ming was incredibly supportive following my election in 2001. I spent the first 12 months as deputy spokesperson on International Development within Ming’s Foreign Affairs team. He always had time for advice and guidance. It is no surprise that so many Members of Parliament are supporting Ming. We have all witnessed his remarkable skills, his humour, his natural authority and the respect with which he is held. He is a genuine, deeply committed Liberal and a democrat. We are very fortunate to have chance to elect Ming as our leader. What a brilliant contrast to the inexperienced, untested David Cameron.