Tag Archives: nicol stephen

In other news… on Jess Ennis, Judy Steel & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Campaign to rename Tudor Square in honour of Jess (Postcode Gazette)

Sheffield politicians want to rename Tudor Square in honour of Jessica Ennis. The Liberal Democrats have backed a campaign which went viral on twitter on Saturday night, following Jessica’s victory in the women’s heptathlon. The suggestion follows calls by Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, that Ennis be granted Freedom of the City. Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sheffield Council, said: “Every Sheffielder will have been bursting

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Fifteen new Liberal Democrat Peers appointed

Fifteen new Liberal Democrat working peers have just been announced…

  • Dr Sarah (Sal) Brinton – Executive Director of the Association of Universities in the East of England
  • Dee Doocey OBE – Chair of the London Assembly
  • Qurban Hussain – Deputy Group Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Luton Borough Council
  • Judith Jolly – Chair of Executive Committee of Liberal Democrats in Devon and Cornwall
  • Susan Kramer – former Liberal Democrat MP
  • Raj Loomba – businessman and campaigner for widows’ rights
  • Jonathan Marks – commercial and family law QC with specialist interest in human rights and constitutional reform
  • Monroe Palmer OBE – Liberal
  • Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 77 Comments

    Nicol Stephen to stand down in May

    Nicol Stephen MSP has announced he is standing down after nearly three decades in public life, first being elected a councillor, then an MP and latterly an MSP for Aberdeen South.

    This isn’t the first time that Nicol has taken the Scottish political world by surprise with an unexpected announcement – just over two years ago he stood down as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats deciding to put his family first. Nicol and his wife Caris have four children – Macleod, 15, Mirrhyn, 13, Mharni, 9, and Drummond, 6.

    I recall the day really well and my phone was buzzing …

    Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Our starters for 2008 – how did we do? (Part II)

    A year ago, Lib Dem Voice posed 10 questions, the answers to which we believed might shape the Lib Dem year – time to revisit them, wethinks. To read Part I dealing with Qs 1-5, click here.

    6. Will Nicol Stephen’s leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems continue to bounce back?

    No, it didn’t, though this was in large part due to Nicol’s decision to resign the party leadership at the beginning of July, in order to put “the health and wellbeing” of his family first. The Scottish party has had a tough time, playing third fiddle to …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

    Vicki Harris passes away

    Very sad news from Scotland, as Caron reports:

    I was very sad to hear last week of the death of Vicki Harris, former Lib Dem candidate in Aberdeen South. I had worked closely with her since moving back to Scotland in 2000 and particularly in the run up to the 2005 election where she so nearly unseated Anne Begg. She worked hard, campaigning ceaselessly for local people. I admired the fact that she let nothing faze her, and just got on with the job, bringing new people in to extend the delivery network and take on roles within her campaign.


    Posted in News | 2 Comments

    Scottish Lib Dem leader nominations close

    The Press Association reports the (unsurprising) news:

    The deadline for nominations in the race to lead the Scottish Liberal Democrats has closed with no late challengers in the three-way campaign.

    Mike Rumbles and former ministers Tavish Scott and Ross Finnie will now concentrate on winning party support before the poll on August 26.

    The candidates are hoping to succeed Aberdeen South MSP Nicol Stephen, who quit the top job earlier this month citing family reasons.

    Posted in Leadership Election and Scotland | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Ming: Lib Dem MSPs should oppose independence poll regardless of conference

    An interesting article in yesterday’s Times, with former national Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell wading into the current Scottish leadership debate, and in particular the controversy over whether Lib Dems should support a referendum on Scottish independence:

    Sir Menzies Campbell has warned the next leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats to oppose an independence referendum, even if the party conference votes in favour. …

    Two of the three candidates in the race to replace Nicol Stephen as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems have already said they are open-minded about a ballot on breaking up Britain. Mike Rumbles has proposed

    Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

    Are you on your way to the Forum?

    Don’t forget, if you’re a party member you can register for the Lib Dem Voice members’ forum – in which case you get to read and post on a rich variety of topics which don’t always make it into the public blog. Here’s a selection of the currently active threads to whet your appetites:

    * MPs expenses
    * Iran – a dangerous impasse
    * Henley result
    * The race to succeed Nicol Stephen
    * Welsh Euro List
    * What are the Lib Dems doing about David Davis?
    * What would you do in Glasgow East?
    * Who’d be an MP?

    (Disclaimer: though LDV’s forum moderators do our best

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    It’s a three-way contest for next Scottish Lib Dem leader

    Following Nicol Stephen’s surprise resignation as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, three MSPs have declared their intent to succeed him, according to today’s papers. Here’s The Times:

    Tavish Scott, the former Transport Minister, who is widely tipped as the favourite to replace Nicol Stephen as leader, formally announced his bid only hours after the former Rural Affairs Minister, Ross Finnie, made it clear he too was running. … Mr Scott, who is close to Mr Stephen, has won the backing of six of the party’s MSPs and five MPs. He also enjoys the support of the former UK party

    Posted in Leadership Election | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

    Glasgow East latest

    Well, they say a week is a long time in politics! Wednesday saw the shock resignation of our Scottish Party Leader, Nicol Stephen, on Thursday we selected East End Ian Robertson for the Glasgow East by-election and then on Friday Labour selected nobody because the favourite didn’t turn up … you couldn’t make this up, could you?

    The Liberal Democrats have a great candidate in Ian Robertson, a great campaign office at 888 Shettleston Road, Glasgow, G32 7XN and a fantastic team coming together.

    If you look at the posters on the lampposts it really is only the SNP and the Liberal …

    Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 22 Comments

    Nicol Stephen resigns as Scottish leader

    As the BBC reports:

    The former Scottish deputy first minister said the stresses and strains the job placed on his family life had become too great.

    However, he will remain as the MSP for Aberdeen South…

    Mr Stephen, who has four children aged between four and 12, said in a statement that family now had to take priority.

    “Everyone involved in politics knows that there are stresses and strains on family life. But when it goes beyond that, when it crosses a line, something has to be done.”

    “And at that stage – when you have to make a choice between family and politics

    Posted in Scotland | 14 Comments

    BBC Question Time: open thread

    Nicol Stephen, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, is one of the panellists on tonight’s Question Time (broadcast on BBC1 and online from 10.35 pm GMT).

    He’ll be alongside the Deputy Scottish Labour leader Cathy Jamieson, the Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie, the Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon, and Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow George Galloway.

    If you’re watching, and want to sound-off, please feel free to use the comments thread.

    Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 20 Comments

    High praise for Stephen from Scotsman

    No, not me – it’s the Lib Dems’ Scottish leader Nicol Stephen who has been earning plaudits from The Scotsman’s Hamish MacDonnell:

    A couple of weeks ago, Wendy Alexander held a dinner for some members of the Holyrood political press corps. Her aim was to explain her thinking on the constitutional convention but, in the course of the evening, the Scottish Labour leader was told – quite bluntly – that she was pretty awful at First Minister’s Questions. She was informed that not only was she being beaten by Alex Salmond every week, but that Nicol Stephen was doing a much better job for the Liberal Democrats than she was for Labour.

    That dinner happened just after one of Ms Alexander’s worst ever performances: she started by asking a question about SportScotland, went on to talk about the Budget and ended on police pensions, failing to score a point with any of her efforts. At the same session, Mr Stephen asked three pointed and direct questions about SportScotland and had the First Minister riled, angry and unable to answer clearly.

    Posted in Scotland | Also tagged | 6 Comments

    Clegg in the press

    Hard to escape Nick Clegg in the media today: he’s everywhere. Here’s a selection…

    An audio interview with The Guardian’s Jon Dennis following his PMQs’ debut here – apparently Nick has “always enjoyed” PMQs. (Perhaps Lynne Featherstone should have a word.)

    There’s a Q&A with Nick with The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham here – including “why no Cameron clone, why he wants to do more for children – and why we’re all working too hard”.

    And, as if The Guardian couldn’t get enough of Nick, the paper also trails his much-anticipated speech on public services to this …

    Posted in News | 3 Comments

    10 key Lib Dem questions for 2008

    Sky News’s Adam Boulton has posted his rather more worldly ’10 Questions for 2008’ over at his Boulton & Co blog:

    A lot will happen that I can’t predict, but working from the known unknowns of next year’s calendar, here are ten questions which I believe will shape politics at home and abroad in 2008.

    Forgive Lib Dem Voice for being a little more parochial, and concentrating on the world of Lib Demmery:

    1. Will Nick Clegg become as well-known and respected/liked as Paddy and Charles became?

    2. Will the party manage to stake out clear and mainstream liberal policy lines while asserting …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

    Scottish Lib Dems attitude to SNP’s independence initiative

    You can read Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen’s views over on the Scottish Liberal Democrats website.

    Posted in News | 11 Comments

    Four more years for Nicol

    Though the election’s not for another two months, the result looks a foregone conclusion: Nicol Stephen, Lib Dem MSP for Aberdeen South, seems set to be re-elected leader of the Scottish Lib Dems for another four years in October.

    The Herald has the full story:

    Mr Stephen has secured the support of all 15 of his parliamentary colleagues at Holyrood, which makes it technically impossible under the party rule book for there to be any challenge against him.

    Under rules agreed in 2000, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats must be an MSP, while the deputy must be a Westminster

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    Scottish independence White Paper a “waste of time and money”

    Scotland’s First Minister, SNP leader Alex Salmond, has committed to publishing a White Paper proposing a referendum on Scottish independence.

    The move has been dismissed by the Scottish Lib Dems leader, Nicol Stephen:

    “Everyone knows the work on this White Paper is a waste of civil service time and the public’s money. There is nowhere near a majority for independence in the Scottish Parliament. Every minute spent on this document is a distraction from more important priorities, such as health, education and crime.”

    There’s more coverage in the Daily Record and Scotsman.

    (I would direct you to the Scottish Lib Dems …

    Posted in News | 8 Comments

    Nicol Stephen: The Movie

    Hot on the heels of the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ PEB comes the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ new election broadcast, focusing in particular on Scottish party leader Nicol Stephen. It will air this evening but you can watch it here on Liberal Democrat Voice right now:

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    Stephen promises free nursery places for all two-year-olds

    The Scottish Liberal Democrat conference is underway (you can watch a conference video below – the narrator’s voice may sound familiar), and Nicol Stephen is going to unveil a key plank of the Scottish Lib Dems election manifesto – free nursery places for two-year-olds. He will also reaffirm his commitment to a 100% renewable energy target by 2050.

    PS: Wales, tell me what you’re doing and I’ll gladly cover it!

    Posted in Lib Dem TV and News | 5 Comments

    Nicol Stephen “sounds death knell” for Independence referendum

    Front pageNicol Stephen has given an interview to the Scotsman, which you can read for now online (I think their stuff gets moved behind a subscription firewall pretty fast)

    In an interview with The Scotsman, Mr Stephen was asked: “Are there any circumstances under which you would accept a referendum as part of a coalition with the SNP?”

    He replied: “In 1997, the Liberal Democrats saw no need for a referendum before establishing a Scottish Parliament, which we strongly supported, so why in 2007 would we support a referendum to establish a separate Scottish

    Posted in News | 46 Comments

    Nicol Stephen rules out SNP pact

    The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has ruled out a pact with the SNP over a referendum on independence. Nicol Stephen, deputy first minister in the current Scottish Executive, said such a referendum would prevent any possible coalition deal with the SNP.

    His comments echoed those made by the UK Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell at the weekend.

    So say the BBC (again)

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 113 Comments

    Nicol Stephen aims high in 2007

    Nicol Stephen MSPIn his new year message, Nicol Stephen, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said:

    “This (2006) has been a momentous year for the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Our success in the Dunfermline by-election sent shockwaves through the foundations of UK and Scottish politics. The Liberal Democrats achieved a massive 16% swing from Labour and Willie Rennie gained the seat. It was a turning point and for the first time it is now clear the Liberal Democrats can be Scotland’s largest party. The party is growing in support, particularly amongst young people and …

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    What sort of year has it been? A review of 2006 for Liberal Democrats, and a look ahead to 2007

    Kennedy resignationLiberal Democrats will hear two words often over the next few days – ‘Annus Horribilis.’ The general consensus is that we’ve had happier times, better years.

    But 2006 has not been entirely “challenging”. Most of the bad news, which has grabbed the headlines, has come from the party in and around Westminster. The news from Scotland has often been good, and there have been successes in local government too. And as we end the year, the party in Westminster looks like its turning a corner too.

    2006 started with a bombshell – Charles Kennedy’s resignation in January seemed unreal to many. Thirty Parliamentarians in a democratic party of tens of thousands of members, a party founded on a principle of one member one vote, had deposed a popular and charismatic leader. His initial attempt to carry on with the backing of the membership in a leadership ballot was blocked by some fancy media footwork. On 7 January, Charles Kennedy resigned.

    In less than a week, four leadership contenders were in place. Within two weeks of that, two were ‘outed’ by the press as having had homosexual relationships in the past, one dropped out, and polls suggested a collapse in party support to 13%. February and March were devoted to leadership hustings, hand-shakes and horseplay between the three remaining leadership contenders.

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

    Scottish coalition turning frosty as election nears

    Polling day for the Scottish Parliament lands in May next year, and the election ‘air war’ is heating up already.

    Last week’s Scotland on Sunday newspaper lead with a story placed by anonymous Labour sources saying that, if Labour were to go up roughly six seats (that’s quite a big ‘if!’) at the election, they would pursue a strategy of minority administration and kick the Lib Dems out of coalition government.

    The source indicated that the problem was that it was the Lib Dems, not Labour, who were behind many of the flagship changes to government policy in the …

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

    Take out the trash on Sunday evening

    The Voice is supposed to cover good news and… not so good news, so as it’s late on Sunday night lets get some not so good news out of the way:

    Tomorrow is another …

    Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

    Nicol Stephen launches election pre-manifesto

    A bright futureOur colleagues in the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who will be meeting for their conference a week tomorrow, are launching their election pre-manifesto.

    You can download a PDF (4MB) of the document here.

    Never has the phrase “there is no glass ceiling to our ambition” been more appropriate. “Maximum votes, maximum seats” is also a message that should ring true for Scottish Liberal Democrats. If you haven’t done so yet, read Alex Cole-Hamilton’s piece looking back at his selection as a candidate, and forward to next year’s election.

    He said:

    “As Lib Dems we

    Posted in News | 1 Comment

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