The fallout from Chris Huhne’s resignation

I’ve been busy with the media yesterday and today giving my take on Chris Huhne’s resignation, so here are the two main highlights if you missed them:

The Lib Dem Voice survey results I mention are covered in the piece Which four Liberal Democrat ministers have most improved their standings in 2011? and for more on why I rate Ed Davey’s record see Community Buying: a welcome move from Ed Davey (an approach very relevant to his new post) and Ed Davey: someone getting the messaging right.

Helped by having known for a long time that Friday’s events might occur, Nick Clegg and the media team handled events very calmly and efficiently in the circumstances I thought, with the reshuffle and surrounding media coverage looked after well.

The reshuffle also throws some light on how far Nick Clegg is willing to take his commitment to greater diversity in Liberal Democrat ranks. Both the new entrants to government are women (Jo Swinson and Jenny Willott), but once again the Liberal Democrat Cabinet ranks are solidly male. How much you view that as glass part full or glass mostly empty depends mostly on your expectations I suspect.

It is likely that in addition to joining the government, Jo Swinson will take over as chair of the Federal Policy Committee – the first time a woman has chaired the body. This is a very influential role in the party, particularly when it comes to general election manifestos, and given that the majority of the electorate is female it is perhaps about time that the party had a talented woman in the post. Jo has also got a very good track record at turning potentially dry, abstract policy into effective campaigns which generate media coverage. Assuming she does take up the post, her influence on the policy process will be fascinating to watch – and very positive.

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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2 Comments

  • Doesn’t someone at LDV owe at least a partial apology to Guido Fawkes, the blogger who was honest enough to admit when he thought he was partially not correct about Huhne, only to be vilified on the pages of this website and then exonerated by the news that Huhne IS to be charged with Perverting the Course of Justice – after due consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions. I cannot imagine for a moment that they would have decided to charge him if there was at the very least a very high probability that he would be found guilty after a trial – after all, he is a public figure and the DPP would want to tread carefully with a Government minister. When you are wrong, it is never easy to admit it, but it makes you a stronger person.

    Curiously, until today I had not heard anyone other than a member of the Liberal Democrats have anything good to say about Huhne, who it appears, has allegedly managed to alienate just about everyone in Government. Take a look at James Dellingpole’s latest piece and you will see what I mean. Now that he has been charged, people seem unduly delighted…

  • There is a line regarding contempt of court with active proceedings. If Frankie looks backwards he can probably see it 🙂

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