Charles Kennedy memorial debate tonight – how you can watch live

Charles Kennedy on HIGNFYI’m on my way o Glasgow to attend a debate to be held in memory of Charles Kennedy. The subject will be one which was very close to his heart – “This house believes that the UK should remain within the European Union.”

The debate takes place in the very Chamber where Charles debated as a student. During his lifelong association with Glasgow University, he served as the Glasgow University Union’s President and, much later, for an unprecedented two terms as the University’s Rector.

From the GUU website:

The debate will be chaired by The Rt. Hon. Sir Menzies Campbell, who served as Charles’s deputy, before becoming leader himself. Speakers for the proposition include the former Chancellor Alistair Darling, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Scottish MEP, Ian Duncan. Amongst those opposing the motion are John Mills, Co-Chairman of Business for Britain and Labour MP Graham Stringer MP.

The judging panel will be chaired by Labour’s former Communications Director and close friend of Charles Kennedy, Alasdair Campbell. He will be joined by the former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Jo Swinson, BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor and the Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli.

The Facebook event announced earlier this afternoon included Edinburgh Western Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton as a speaker, too.

It can’t be easy being Ian Duncan. He is pretty passionately pro-European which many of his Conservative colleagues are not and I can’t imagine he finds it easy sitting with the rather unpleasant band of parties which make up the group to which the UK Conservatives belong. I do expect particularly great things from him, though, having taken part in a St Andrews University debate with him last year which you can read about here. He turned up as the only other speaker on my team having forgotten his speech and started scribbling notes on a piece of paper. What he came up with was hilarious:

Then Ian Duncan provided us with a piece of pure theatre for his offering. He was the only non-novice amongst the table speakers and he was incredibly entertaining. He had the room in fits of laughter. There wasn’t, to be honest, a massive amount of substance  and he used the word “pants” in relation to the Labour Party rather a lot and featured heavily on their economic incompetence, arguing that the Coalition had sorted it out.

 You can all watch tonight’s proceedings live on Glasgow University Student Television here from 7 pm. I’ll report on the debate over the weekend, too. You can also follow the Twitter hashtag #CKDebate.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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