Two important Lib Dem leadership debates

Ballot papers in the leadership election will land in people’s letterboxes and inboxes from 1st July.

The 105,000 Lib Dem members will have two opportunities before then to see the two candidates, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson, go head to head on live tv. The first is on Victoria Derbyshire at 10 am on Thursday 27th July. The second is on Adam Boulton’s All out Politics on Sky at 9am on Monday 1st July.

We’ll catch up with Ed and Jo properly tomorrow but today has seen the first direct conflict of the leadership campaign.

In an article in the Times (£) this morning, Ed would have wanted the discussion to be around his plan to stop Brexit. People actually picked up on a quite violent turn of phrase:

So I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit.

Quite obviously not meant literally, but still more violent than many people felt comfortable with.

Jo was uncomfortable with the way Ed expressed the view of Boris being a total disaster:

The language we use is important. We have to be able to have robust debate in our politics without resorting to graphic, violent imagery. We have to rediscover the ability to disagree well with each other.

This is not language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.

Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.

Later in the day, Ed recognised that a less violent metaphor would have been more appropriate:


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  • nigel hunter 25th Jun '19 - 11:56pm

    Not impossible for Johnson to have an election. If on a wave of euphoria after his election as PM they do well in Brecon (it has been called for August I believe) he could call an election on a wave, he hopes, of success. Even Hunt might be tempted.
    Brecon. Is August holiday time for the area in the sense of residents en-masse go on vacation? Would our voters be in the majority? A lot to fight for.

  • nigel hunter 26th Jun '19 - 10:29am

    So we worry about a word whilst the right wing press who for years have used emotive language can ‘stir it up’. I trust in this emotional high charged period of politics that we should be able to use powerful words. Sycophant comes to mind for Johnson.and his ilk.
    Johnson is Britain’s Trump and can turn the country into a fascist state.

  • Paul Weaver 26th Jun '19 - 5:48pm

    27th *June*, not 27th July.

  • Indeed, and the Labour strategy to un-seat Nick Clegg in 2015 was widely reported without comment as a “decapitation” strategy.

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