Video: Simon Hughes endorses Tim Farron’s leadership bid

It’s Simon, so it’s not going to be brief, but here is a party legend saying why he thinks Tim should be leader:

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15 Comments

  • The very future of the Liberal Democrats is at stake.

    Do I follow the advice of Simon Hughes or the advice of Frank Bruno?

    They are both heavyweights in their own areas of expertise.

  • It might not be brief, but his views are shared by many. Can anyone really see Norman Lamb – decent man that he is – successfully leading the LibDems through a GE campaign? For me it’s either Tim or it’s oblivion.

  • @malc “Can anyone really see Norman Lamb – decent man that he is – successfully leading the LibDems through a GE campaign? For me it’s either Tim or it’s oblivion.”

    Norman has at least been tested in the furnace of government.

    Tim chose to avoid that challenge for the safety of the party presidency. We have no idea how he will fare under the scrutiny of a general election campaign when he’s in the media spotlight.

  • malc:
    Yes I can see Norman Lamb leading the party through a general election campaign and more able to withstand intensive interviews. Norman Lamb has been tested and proved competent in government, whereas Tim Farron has not. The underlying questions is whether or not we reject the idea of being a possible party of government. I am not sure what the answer should be, but if we decide that it is not something to attempt again then there is a better case for Tim Farron.

    I heard Tim Farron on Question Time on Radio 5 podcast and he did better than usual – so quite well, though he was not really put under pressure and on the radio I occasionally confused Tim Farron for Owen Jones! On gay marriage, Tim Farron sounded as though he had only recently learned his lines, but at least he did not fluff his lines. It is hardly a surprise that Simon Hughes supports Tim Farron. They have similar religious adherences, though Simon advertises it less obviously. For me it is a negative if a politician ‘does religion’.

  • Stephen Hesketh 25th May '15 - 1:12pm

    JohnTilley 25th May ’15 – 11:14am
    “The very future of the Liberal Democrats is at stake.
    Do I follow the advice of Simon Hughes or the advice of Frank Bruno?
    They are both heavyweights in their own areas of expertise.”

    Nicely put John

    Also one is a Liberal Democrat MP of many years standing and who has also “been tested in the furnace of government” to quote someone who appears not to appreciate irony.

    And the other is a Tory! Frank, please, never endorse me for anything!

  • I watched both the videos from the two candidates put up by Mark Pack. Tim showed a lot more imagination – using the empty Lib Dem offices for example, and spoke much more naturally… I am afraid Norman reminded me a bit of Ed Miliband trying to put passion into what he was saying when it is really not his style…

    It is very obvious why Tim did not agree to be a minister- the price would have been voting for tuition fees, and that was one that he very sensibly was not prepared to pay. Simon Hughes broke the pledge by abstaining, and he was the only minister allowed to do even that apart from those busy at the Climate Change summit. Becoming party President is not some sinecure avoiding responsibility; it was a way Tim could help the Party without breaking his principles……

  • Richard Underhill 25th May '15 - 5:18pm

    Each candidate will need to give a view on the large number of citizens who do not choose to register to vote.

    For some of those aged 16 or 17 they could vote in the Scottish referendum but not in the general election of 7/5/2015.
    I asked several MPs at conference.
    One of them said that they had raised the isue twice, but Labour MPs did not turn up.
    Does that mean that they are only in favour if they can claim it as their achievement?

    The current government’s announcement about who can vote in an EU referendum was announced on a public holiday. Citizens of EU states can vote if they are also Commonwealth members. Malta is thereby included. Cyprus is divided so we need to know the details.

    In an election for the European Parliament citizens of other member states can vote in their own countries, but if a referendum only happens in the UK that is not an option. There are large numbers of people who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain in the UK, who have lived in the UK for years or decades, but who have not chosen to pay a fee to apply for UK nationality.

  • Peter Andrews 25th May '15 - 6:55pm

    @Andrew, Simon Hughes was not a Minister at the time of the Tuition Fees vote, he was Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party.

  • Peter,

    I stand corrected! I think Simon was one of the people who was supposed to vote in favour in the coalition agreement though, and not just abstain? Anyway, it makes no difference, you can’t slightly break a pledge I am afraid..

  • Politically, I am closer to Lamb but I am minded to vote for Farron because hes got charisma & hes a better bet for attracting voters from Labour as they tear themselves apart.

  • @Paul Barker attracting voters from Labour seems to be a hiding to nothing given past performance.

  • Angela Davies 26th May '15 - 10:12am

    I am tempted to follow Simon Hughes, he is the grass roots man

  • Martin:
    It is wrong to imply that Norman is best if we wish to be in government, otherwise Tim might be better. That is a wrong link. As Liberal Democrats one of our key messages is about changing the way we do politics and being a challenge to the establishment. Hence, we could say that someone new to government is to be preferred.
    Norman did a good job as minister and came over on TV as someone concerned about people’s lives, but one cannot imply that Tim would not be as good. One of the mistakes made over the last 5 years was to give the impression that we were happy with all that happened in the coalition and Tim has to some degree been able to counter that and maintain the close links to our radical roots.
    Simon puts clearly the way that Tim would give weight to social justice, which is one of the absolutely vital ingredients of our party that will motivate our members. I would therefore suggest that the reference to religious adherences is off the point here; their religious backgrounds may have been instrumental in their concern for the poor and disadvantaged, but it is the latter concern which unites them and their views on that are not shared by all ‘religious’ people. Likewise their views on civil liberties, which are not shared by all ‘religious’ people. To imply that their religious background forms the reason for Simon supporting Tim is nonsense.

  • I am definitely going for Tim Farron as I believe the membership has to show the general public that we were all as upset about tuition fees as they were. We need a ‘Lib Dem members vote for change’ headline and on TV. Also Tim showed he was his own man during the Coalition and not swept up into the realms of glory as even Simon ( who I never expected would react like that) was.
    I believe that being aLiberal means that you must constantly question the Establishment especially when you are a part of it but unfortunately the Parliamentary party by and large were so excited about being back in power for the first time in however many years that they forgot this maxim and have now paid the price.

  • Sue S 26th May ’15 – 12:21pm
    “…I believe that being aLiberal means that you must constantly question the Establishment especially when you are a part of it ”

    Sue S — absolutely right. This should be printed on a Tee-shirt and given to every new Liberal Democrat member.

    Sadly you are also correct to conclude with —

    but unfortunately the Parliamentary party by and large were so excited about being back in power for the first time in however many years that they forgot this maxim and have now paid the price.”

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