Archive for the 'Media release' Category

I am going to ensure that Liberal Democrats are the party of ideas and inspiration for Britain.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Ming Campbell celebrates his election as leader of the Liberal Democrats (Photo by Alex Folkes / LDDPics)
March 2, 2006: Ming Campbell’s address following the announcement of the result of the Liberal Democrats leadership election:

Thank you Mr Returning Officer and all of your staff and all the counting staff for all their hard work in ensuring an efficient count.

Thank you to everyone who voted and who took part in this election.

A particular thank you to those whose votes ensured this result.

The challenge now for all of us is to lead this party back towards government at the next election.

Today is not a victory for me; it is a victory for all Liberal Democrats.

Once again in these last few weeks we have confounded our critics and the commentators, all of whom wrote us off. Yet thousands of people in Dunfermline and West Fife elected Willie Rennie as the 63rd Liberal Democrat MP.

A victory in Labour’s heartlands and a victory which bursts the bubble of Cameron’s Conservatives.

A victory that points the way to a contest against those twin forces of conservatism.

A victory which underlined the remarkable legacy we have from Charles Kennedy.

Now let me say a few words to my opponents in the Leadership election.

To Simon let me say, I never cease to admire your tireless efforts to promote the cause of liberal democracy. I look forward to continuing that work together with you as a valued friend and campaigning President of our party.

To Chris let me say, you are a formidable asset for our party and will be a big part of our future. I look forward to working with you and the others of the brightest and best generation in politics to develop and strengthen our party.

Let me tell you how I am going to lead the Liberal Democrats.

I am going to modernise our party so as to make a reality of three party politics in Britain.

I am going to ensure that it is the Liberal Democrats who are the party of ideas and inspiration for Britain.

I am going to encourage the brightest and the best from every walk of life and every part of the country, women and men of every class and creed, every background and religion, to join in making Britain a better country.

I am going to lead the party to crusade against poverty – the poverty of income and the poverty of aspiration. Fairness and freedom are the inalienable right of every citizen.

I am going to ensure the party champions environmental protection, through radical tax policies and global effort. We have a duty to pass on a world fit for our children and grand-children.

I am going to make the Liberal Democrats the party of democratic revolution – combating the un-elected quango State, the unaccountable power of central government and the secrecy which still pervades too much of Britain.

I am going to make the Liberal Democrats the party which looks beyond our shores, which recognises that prosperity, security and sustainability are all dependent on using our influence to shape and participate in effective international action.

I am going to make the Liberal Democrats the party which wants to take power from Westminster and Whitehall and give it to men and women in their own communities to determine how they run their schools, hospitals, police and transport.

Leadership will mean tough questions and difficult answers, as we embrace the opportunities created by the new political landscape.

But the prizes can be the most exciting for liberals and progressives in 100 years.

We have the brightest political generation in our ranks.

Who would not relish the chance to lead in these circumstances?

Who would not relish the task of taking on both Labour and the Conservatives?

The task is to build a strong, effective, powerful Liberal Democrat party with the objective of ensuring a greener, fairer, decentralised and democratic Britain at peace with itself at home and admired abroad.

Cameron’s statement of values “vapid and technocratic” – Campbell

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Commenting on David Cameron’s latest attempt at Tory re-branding, Sir Menzies Campbell MP, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

This is not a statement of values, it’s vapid and technocratic.

The author is the same David Cameron who was behind last year’s mean and divisive Tory Manifesto.

The recent by-election in Dunfermline shows that those who seek a fair society, the defence of civil liberties and a green future are voting Liberal Democrat.

Tremendous damage done by Guantanamo Bay cannot be ignored

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Ming Campbell MP, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, responding to Tony Blair’s comments about Guantanamo Bay at his monthly news conference, said:

The Prime Minister at last seems to be moving publicly towards the condemnation of Guantanamo Bay. But what no one must ignore is the enormous damage it has done to the reputation and credibility of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Guantanamo Bay violates every accepted principle of law. It is hardly surprising that it has proven to be a fertile source of propaganda for Al-Qaeda and their associates.

Campbell – It’s time to stand up to Bush on extradition

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Ming Campbell will attack the Blair-Bush relationship in a speech to be made at the Liberal Democrat Leadership Hustings in Tunbridge Wells tonight. In the speech, Ming Campbell will say of the Labour party’s extradition laws :

This is another example of the Blair-Bush “special relationship” being all about what President Bush wants, he gets.

It is time that we once again became the candid friend of America and were prepared to tell them when they were wrong

Notes to Editors

A copy of the speech will posted in the Campbell Campaign media centre at 1900 today.

‘Lib Dems to be party of constitutional revolution’ says Campbell

Monday, February 20th, 2006

In a statement made to day Ming Campbell said

I want to win power, so that we can give power away. I want us to be the champions, again, of people power.

I want to see Citizens able to initiate inquiries; ask questions direct of decision-takers and have petitions debated. In short, people power to replace unelected quango power so that government is servant and not master.

The statement was made in advance of a speech Ming Campbell will deliver tonight at the Liberal Democrat Leadership Hustings in Manchester. In the speech he will also call for

  • Proportional representation for each and every election.
  • A fully elected House of Lords.
  • A robust Freedom of Information Act.
  • A Civil Service that has its independence guaranteed.
  • Local government able to make decisions over the running of local schools, hospitals and transport.


A copy of the speech will posted in the Campbell campaign media centre at 1900 today.

There are no short cuts to success

Friday, February 17th, 2006

In a speech Ming Campbell will make at Liberal Democrat leadership hustings in Coventry tomorrow, Ming Campbell will outline how intends to bring success to the party through a combination of strong leadership and teamwork.

He will focus on his own track record in politics, his personal priorities for policy, and his determination for the party to nurture talent. He will also warn the party that there are no short cuts to success.

In a statement issued today he said

In every generation the shining talents choose one party to make their home. We are fortunate that this generation has chosen the Liberal Democrats.

Under my leadership talent will be nurtured from all sections of the party in Parliaments, in councils and in the nations and in the regions of Britain.

I will use my experience, my authority, my energy to work with them, and campaign alongside them, as part of a formidable team.

I know this party, I have lived and breathed this party all my life, and I want to lead this party. I am passionate about this, passionate about my politics, I want to lead this party, not for my own sake but for what liberal democracy can achieve. We have exciting new opportunities as a party.


Guantanamo Bay must close: It is time for the Prime Minister to take action and to demand the closure of the camp.

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Sir Menzies Campbell MP, today called for the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities to be closed, and the detainees to be released without delay or swiftly brought to trial. His demand follows the publication of a UN report on conditions in the camp.

Sir Menzies has written a letter today to the Prime Minister in which he calls on him to press the United States government to close the detention facilities.

He also asks the Prime Minister to confirm what representations have been made by the Government on behalf of British residents being held at Guantanamo Bay, and to clarify whether British officials have had any role in supporting or facilitating the transfer of individuals to the camp.

Commenting, Sir Menzies said:

The systematic violation of human rights undermines the moral authority of the West and makes it impossible to win the long-term battle for hearts and minds.

It is time for the Prime Minister to take action and to demand the closure of the camp. Detainees should either be charged or released.

I also hope that the senior representatives of the Conservative Party presently visiting Washington will use the opportunity to make it plain that the present situation at Guantanamo Bay is intolerable.

The findings of the UN report are deeply damaging. These practices can have no place in a civilised democracy.


Glorification offence an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Ming Campbell MP responding to the vote in the House of Commons on a new offence of glorifying terrorism, said:

The purpose of passing legislation is not to ‘send a message’ as the Prime Minister seems to argue, it is to change the law.

A practical and effective change, which would help bring terrorists to justice, would be to allow the use of telephone intercept evidence in court. It works in other developed countries. It would work here.

This new offence is an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction. The present laws are perfectly adequate to deal effectively with crimes of incitement. The law on glorification may well have unwelcome implications for freedom of speech, but it will do nothing to improve public safety.

Ming Campbell attacks Gordon Brown’s “welfare state”

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

At a Liberal Democrat Leadership hustings in London last night Ming Campbell launched a fierce attack on Gordon Brown’s “welfare state.

He said

Gordon Browns welfare state has failed Britain it traps people in poverty instead of freeing them.

It makes people dependent instead of providing them with opportunities and second chances.

It penalises work instead of rewarding it. It complicates tax rather than simplifying it.

We are the most unequal society amongst the major economies and that has worsened since the 1970s.

We must take the poorest out of tax whilst rewarding those who want to be helped into learning and jobs.


Notes to Editors

The speech was delivered to the Liberal Democrat Leadership hustings at the National Liberal Club in London on Tuesday 14th.

Ming Campbell says ‘the party must change’

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

At a Leadership hustings this evening at the National Liberal Club in London, Ming Campbell will focus the Liberal Democrat Party yet again on its need to modernise.

Modernisation of the party has been one of the key themes of his campaign to date and tonight he will focus on some specific areas he would tackle as leader to ensure the Party does better at reflecting the diverse nature of todays society at every level.

Ming Campbell will say that whilst Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront of promoting equality and anti-discrimination legislation in society at large, the party cannot accept that it has done enough within its own ranks.

He will not only pledge to support a motion, set to come before the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in March, to create an Ethnic Minority Election Task Force but state that he, as leader, he would personally ensure that diversity remained at the forefront of the Partys thinking.

He will also set out specific goals including :

  • At least 1 new black or ethnic minority MP after the next election
  • 40% of new MPs and 25% of the Parliamentary party being female after the next election
  • Every MP, MEP and MSP and AM to mentor one potential candidate who is a woman or who is from an ethnic minority
  • New and unique funding to assist candidates get selected

Ming Campbell will say that he wants the nation to celebrate the contribution that all ethnic minority communities make to todays society .but that the Liberal Democrat party must do more to attract, retain and develop the talent in all ethnic minority communities


Notes to editors

The speech will be posted on the Campbell Campaign website at at 1900 today.

Liberal Democrat Leadership hustings to be held at the National Liberal Club , London, 1900-2030.

The motion to create an Ethnic Minority Election Task Force is set to come before the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference is the result of a paper called Diversity, Racial Equality and the Party. This document was described as the best document to emerge from a political party by Operation Black Vote (

The Times backs “modern Ming”

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

The Times has now joined “The Guardian” and “The Independent” in backing Ming Campbell in the Liberal Democrat leadership race.

On Saturday (Feb 11th) The Times stated:

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

what it (Lib Dem party) needs is not passion or novelty but change.perhaps paradoxically it is the oldest contender in this competition who is most committed to the modernisation of his party

It is thought that Sir Menzies Campbell 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.

On the same day and in the same newspaper a letter from thirteen members of the current Shadow Cabinet urged all Party Members to support Ming Campbell. The letter signed by front bench spokesmen including Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Norman Lamb, Nick Clegg and David Laws said

We are all supporters of Ming Campbells leadership bid. Having worked closely with him, we believe he possesses the experience, judgement and credibility to preside over significant new advances in our partys 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

This follows an open letter from Paddy Ashdown on Thursday 9th also urging Party Members to vote for Sir Ming Campbell.

Ming Campbell enjoys 58% support from all parliamentarians declaring support.


Campbell says to Brown & Cameron “we’re ready to take you on”

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Ming Campbell, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats and the front- runner in the Lib Dem leadership campaign will speak in Cheltenham tonight following the party?’s success in unseating Labour in yesterday?s historic Dunfermline by-election.

In his first speech since the victory for his former agent Willie Rennie, the Lib Dem?s acting leader will address a hustings meeting with Lib Dem members from across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands.

As well as meeting local members, he will make a speech spelling out how, under Labour, centralisation is eroding local democracy and undermining personal responsibility. He will say last night?s result marks the ?end of the road for the Prime Minister and the start of a difficult road for Gordon Brown?.

Ming Campbell will be hosted on his visit to Cheltenham by the town’s former MP Nigel Jones, now Lord Jones of Cheltenham. The leadership contender and acting leader, who was spending today (Friday) in Dunfermline with supporters, will be joined on the panel at Gloucestershire and Cheltenham College (Gloscat) by Jenny Willott who became one of the party’s youngest MPs when she triumphed at Cardiff Central in the 2005 General Election. Jenny Willott is one of 31 MPs who have so far declared their support for Ming Campbell’s leadership campaign.

Lord Jones of Cheltenham said:

I shared an office with Ming Campbell for five years and I have seen him in operation. Throughout his life, he has been a team player and a team captain – he was in the Olympics and he will be for us.

In his speech Ming Campbell will say:

Last night?’s win was a fantastic victory for Willie Rennie and a fantastic victory for the Liberal Democrats.

It was a victory which marks the end of the road for the Prime Minister and the beginning of a difficult road for the Chancellor.

After all the boasts of the Tories and all the bluster of Labour it was the Liberal Democrats united, credible and professional who showed how to campaign and how to win.

We are back in business and let the message go out to Gordon Brown and David Cameron ? we are ready ? we are ready to take you on ? because we can win anytime, anyplace, anywhere.


Campbell hails victory in Gordon Brown’s backyard

Friday, February 10th, 2006

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

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

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.



Ming Campbell leadership campaign comes to Cheltenham

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Ming Campbell is to visit Cheltenham tomorrow on the next stage of his nationwide tour. In addition to meeting local members, he will make a speech spelling out how under Labour, centralisation is eroding local democracy and undermining personal responsibility. He will conclude his visit by taking part in a Q & A session with Liberal Democrats who are travelling to meet him from as far as Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the midlands.

Ming Campbell will be hosted on his visit to Cheltenham by the town’s former MP, Nigel Jones, now Lord Jones of Cheltenham. The leadership contender and acting leader, who was spending today (Thursday) in Scotland rallying supporters at the Dunfermline by-election, will be joined on the panel at Gloucestershire and Cheltenham College by Jenny Willott who became one of the party’s youngest MPs when she triumphed at Cardiff Central in the 2005 General Election. Jenny Willott is one of 31 MPs who have so far declared their support for Ming Campbell’s leadership campaign.

Lord Jones of Cheltenham said:

I shared an office with Ming Campbell for five years and I have seen him in operation. Throughout his life, he has been a team player and a team captain – he was in the Olympics and he will be for us.

In his speech Ming Campbell will say:

Under Labour, accountability has decreased as centralisation has increased. When did a Minister last resign because of incompetence in their department? Yet this is the government that has presided over the fiasco of the tax credit system and the disaster that is the Child Support Agency.

Local government has been emasculated as councils have lost control over their budgets and have to meet targets set in Whitehall. John Prescott is even rumoured to want to abolish next year’s local elections!

By accruing ever more power in Whitehall, Labour behaves as if the state knows best how people should run their lives.
The government talks about wanting to promote personal responsibility, but their nannyish demeanour too often has the opposite effect. None of this will change under Gordon Brown, or David Cameron. Both are competing solely on the basis that they can give better management to the lumbering behemoth that is central government.

We need to put the values back into our politics. British politics does not need a third management party. An injection of liberal values is the only way to undo years of centralisation, bring back local control and accountability, and help people to take responsibility for their own lives.


Operational note: not for publication

Ming Campbell MP, Lord Jones of Cheltenham, Jenny Willott MP
Speech and question and answer session
Gloscat Further Education College, Cheltenham campus, Princess Elizabeth Way, Cheltenham, GL51 7SJ
01242 532000
Friday 10th February, 7pm-8.30pm
Media slots:
One-to-one interview slots will available at a venue close to the college from 6.15-6.45 (earlier slots can also be accommodated for broadcast purposes). Please contact Liz Peplow, 07879 494647 to book times and confirm venue.

Campbell races north ahead of by-election photo finish

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Ming Campbell campaigning with Willie Rennie in Dunfermline
Sir Menzies Campbell MP, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, joined the party’s by-election candidate Willie Rennie on the doorsteps of Dunfermline and West Fife this evening as the Lib Dems continue to close the gap on Labour.

The party leader flew north following Prime Minister’s Questions to help drive home the message that only a handful of votes currently separate Willie Rennie and Labour.

Speaking this evening, Sir Menzies said:

It’s going to be very close between Willie Rennie and Labour in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election.

Many people have told the Lib Dem campaign team that they feel let down and taken for granted by Labour and I think that the voters will make their views known at the polls.

Willie Rennie is an excellent local choice and I look forward to the prospect of welcoming him to the Liberal Democrat team at Westminster.

“Mr Cameron, you are no liberal” – Campbell attacks Tory leader

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Ming Campbell is to visit Dunfermline tonight on the eve of polling. In advance of his visit he has issued the following statement.

From Ming Campbell:

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 Blairs 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 Britains fundamental liberal values, not to sell them down the river for short term political advantage.

David Camerons flip-flops on policy expose his inexperience. Hes 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 countrys problems.

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

Campbell attacks Brown’s record and sets out his own economic priorities for the Lib Dems

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

At a Leadership hustings event this afternoon, Ming Campbell will launch an attack on Gordon Browns economic record and outline what the Liberal Democrat economic priorities would be under his leadership.

He will predict that one of Gordon Browns specific pledges that public debt would stay under 40% of GDP over the economic cycle is likely to be broken over the life of this parliament, and cast a critical eye over productivity growth, and investment in R&D over recent years.

Ming Campbell will identify his own economic priorities and plans covering:

  • Major tax reforms:
    • Reducing the tax burden for those on lowest incomes
    • Using the tax system to discourage activity that is bad and reward behaviour that is good for the environment
    • Simplifying the tax system for the business sector and making it less subject to change
  • Tough choices in government spending
  • A skills and education revolution

Read Ming Campbell’s full speech »

Newspapers back Ming Campbell

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

As leadership election ballot papers drop onto party members doorsteps today, both “The Guardian” and “The Independent” have identified Ming Campbell as the best candidate to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. This follows an announcement yesterday that Ming Campbell also has the backing of 58% of the 134 parliamentarians who have so far declared support for any candidate.

The Independent says

Sir Menzies Campbell 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, and he has stated his intention of professionalising the party.

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

The Guardian also concluded that that Ming Campbell is the best man to lead the party

This will be an an exceptionally demanding period for the Liberal DemocratsSir Menzies Campbell is the best man to lead them out of their confusions and into the searching challenges of the next election

Ming Campbell said:

I am taking nothing for granted, but I am convinced that I can offer the party the unity, professionalism and purpose that it needs.


Notes to editors:

The Independent: page 24
The Guardian: page 32

Thirty-one MPs now backing Ming

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

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

This brings the total number of MPs backing Mings campaign to thirty-one – more than the other two candidates combined.

Andrew George said :

I have worked with Ming during the last year in the Partys Foreign Affairs Team and have known him as a fellow member of our wider Parliamentary team since May 1997. His political judgement has always been impeccable and his knowledge, authority and experience commands tremendous respect across Parliament and the country.

I am sure that Ming has what it takes to take the Party forward to even greater success than that achieved under the excellent leadership provided to the Party by both Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy and under his leadership we will go on to greater successes and higher achievements in the months and years ahead.

Campbell ahead among Lib Dem parliamentarians as ballot papers issued

Monday, February 6th, 2006

New figures released by Ming Campbell?s leadership campaign today show the LibDem Acting Leader racing ahead in the battle for the leadership of the party.

The research shows:

  • Campbell has the declared support of 30 MPs, more than his two opponents combined ? who trail on 11 supporters each
  • Campbell has the declared support of 35 LibDem peers ? more than twice as many as Chris Huhne and more than ten times as many as Simon Hughes
  • Campbell has the declared support of two thirds of the party?s MEPs. Former MEP Chris Huhne has three MEP supporters. Simon Hughes has none.

Of the 132 LibDem Parliamentarians who have declared their support for a candidate, Campbell has the backing of 77 ? a total of 58.3%. This is more than twice the declared support for Huhne and four times the declared support for Hughes.

With ballot papers due to be sent out to over 70,000 party members on Monday, Ming Campbell said:

I am delighted to receive such overwhelming support from Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians, but with the ballot papers being issued to tens of thousands of members today, I will not be taking a single vote for granted. This party belongs to its members and in the coming days I look forward to speaking with as many of them as possible and to building a sense of unity and purpose at all levels of the Liberal Democrats.


Notes to editors :

A full breakdown of declared Parliamentary supporters follows:

Spreadsheet showing parliamentary support for Liberal Democrat leadership candidates (Excel, 27kB)

Three more MEPs declare for Ming Campbell

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Three more Liberal Democrat women MEPs 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’s campaign after a hustings meeting and individual discussions with Ming Campbell in Brussels.

Baroness Ludford 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 comes shortly after Jenny Willott MP’s decision to back Ming the day before.

Read the latest list of supporters »