In other news… Alexander’s ‘Ginger Rodent’ beer, Huppert’s new appointment, Moore’s push for new Scottish powers

A round-up of stories we didn’t have chance to cover on the site this week…

Danny Alexander helps launch Ginger Rodent beer after redhead jibes (Metro)

The new alcoholic beverage shares the same name as an insult once fired at him by Labour rival Harriet Harman at the Scottish Labour party conference in 2010. … Ms Harman was forced to apologise for the controversial jibe at the time, while Mr Alexander responded with a message of his own on Twitter. ‘I am proud to be ginger and rodents do valuable work cleaning up mess others leave behind,’ he said.

MP made physics lecturer – but the job’s on hold for now (Cambridge News)

The city’s MP has been made a lecturer in physics at Cambridge University. Liberal Democrat Dr Julian Huppert, who is still the only MP in the House of Commons with a science PhD who went on to do further research, has told the News it is an “honour” to be appointed to the role. … “I am on long-term unpaid leave from this position, and it does not give me any duties or pay me anything – representing the people of Cambridge as their MP is a more than full-time job.”

Chris Huhne in new firm job storm (The Sun)

[He] got the £42,000-a-year advisory post with “green” Nationwide Energy Services just months after being forced to quit the Cabinet. He has been plunged into a conflict of interest row for taking it on so soon after leaving office.

Scottish independence: Minister Moore ‘confident’ of additional powers (BBC News)

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has said he is “confident” Scotland will get more powers following a “no” vote in the 2014 independence referendum. Mr Moore, a Liberal Democrat MP, also said his party was already talking about how to take those plans forward.

Scottish independence: Youngsters quiz politicians on 2014 referendum (BBC News)

Scottish Lib Dem leader Mr Rennie believed that a no in the referendum did “not mean no to change”. He added that there would need to be more powers for a new federal Scotland.

Lib Dem triumphs in the long haul (Guardian)

… well done Chris Davies, the lean and wiry Lib Dem member of the European Parliament for the north west, who has been an actual runner since the age of 14, as well as a metaphysical, political one. He has just won the title of over-50 ultra-distance champion for 2012 in the national Runfurther championships.

Lib Dem councillor turns to Labour after six months (Portsmouth News)

COSHAM councillor Aiden Gray has made a shock move by turning to Labour from the Lib Dems – just six months after being elected and joining the cabinet. … council and LibDem group leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he was ‘surprised and disappointed’ by Cllr Gray’s decision. He said: ‘I am really sorry Aiden has done this but I think maybe I promoted him too quickly into cabinet. It’s difficult for people when you are with the reality of stuff. It might be that he feels easier not having to take responsibility for decisions.’

Former councillor Andy Harrison cleared of Asbo allegations (Swindon Advertiser)

FORMER councillor Andy Harrison has been cleared of the allegations that he advised a resident to break the law to deal with anti-social behaviour from youngsters in Penhill. … Mr Harrison, who did not seek re-election in May due to health issues, said: “I’m elated. My name has been cleared. It means it was not in breach of the members’ code of conduct, I didn’t advise someone to do something unlawful.”

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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