Deputy leadership contest: Hughes “backed by more than 50% of Lib Dem MPs”

Nominations closed at 5pm yesterday for the Deputy Leadership of the Liberal Democrats, and it’s going to be a contest between Tim Farron and Simon Hughes. Already the Independent is calling it for Simon:

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat left-winger, was on course last night to become the party’s deputy leader.

The former party president is understood to have secured the backing of more than half of its 57 MPs. Although he voted in favour of forming a power-sharing deal with the Conservatives, he is likely to prove a thorn in Nick Clegg’s side.

Following the close of nominations, he will be standing against Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, who is thought to have the support of some 15 MPs.

Simon Hughes said,

The months ahead are a huge opportunity for our party. We must make sure that the skills and ability of every single Liberal Democrat MP is used to the full.

Now the Liberal Democrats form part of the coalition Government, the role of the deputy leader will change, but it will also be extremely important as a voice that is unashamedly partisan but unflinchingly loyal. It is vital the independence, radicalism and distinctiveness of the Liberal Democrats are maintained.

Hustings will be held next Wednesday, 9th June, at the Parliamentary Party meeting. The ballot will be held at the end of the meeting, and the result declared immediately afterwards.

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12 Comments

  • Now I really, really want to see that video of him speaking at the special conference.

    There was a video taken, and as every single report I have heard back suggests it was the speech of his life, it would do no harm to make it public / leak it etc…

  • Yes Henry I missed it as I went out to get food!

  • Andrea Gill 3rd Jun '10 - 1:53pm

    @Henry yes I really really wish they’d make it available, lots of other videos from other conferences are on the party’s YouTube stream!

  • Helen Duffett 3rd Jun '10 - 7:01pm

    To my knowledge, video from Special Conference won’t be made available.

    It’s quite possible that it wasn’t recorded, but simply streamed onto the stage backdrop, for the benefit of those present.

  • Andrea Gill 3rd Jun '10 - 7:34pm

    @Helen – gutted, I had already arranged to have lunch with a friend’s family (who would also have loved to come)… I have emailed his office to ask if there is a transcript but that’s not the same is it

  • I have heard that there is a copy floating around somewhere.

    I have similarly heard that it would not be made available, but I am asking, because I think that decision should probably be reversed…

  • Andrea Gill 3rd Jun '10 - 11:52pm

    @Henry – I hope there is one (copy), if nowhere else how about making it available in the members only section?

  • David Walker 4th Jun '10 - 12:39am

    Simon Hughes leadership bid was scuppered when he was outed during the campaign. Following David Laws’ similar fate it would be fitting perhaps if Simon were successful this time around. Besides which he is hugely well liked and respected by the membership.

  • George Turner 4th Jun '10 - 12:30pm
  • Andrea Gill 4th Jun '10 - 12:33pm

    @George – Thank you! 🙂

  • Thanks George – just the recording to go now 🙂

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