The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Who should be deputy?
by Peter

At this stage I'm backing Ming for the leadership. And if it isn´t Ming it will be Simon or Mark, I suppose (I can't quite see John Memming pulling it off).

But who should be deputy leader?

David Laws - love him or hate him, an intellectual powerhouse

Ed Davey - bright young man, inconspicuous at education

Lynne Featherstone - impressing many in her early months in Parliament

Nick Clegg - most people's hot tip for next leader

Andrew George - a radical voice from the south west.


anonymous (she gets everywhere, doesn't she?) suggest I add

Chris Huhne - the new MP with the longest cv

Susan Kramer - the lib dems Valerie Singleton, I always think (this is a compliment)

Vince Cable - the man who is making us credible on the economy

This is (definitely) one contest where we are spoiled for choice. I could make a good case for each of them. Let's hope the leadership contest - and its aftermath - provide them with greater visibility.
posted by Peter Pigeon @ 5:07 pm  
  • At 10 January, 2006 11:30, Anonymous Alex said…

    It would be great to see one of these as deputy -- the post is selected by ballot of the MPs, as I understand it.

    Do you assume that the defeated heavyweights would hang back from this election to lick their wounds and avoid a second loss?

  • At 10 January, 2006 11:43, Anonymous You know I'm right said…

    You need to choose a deputy to balance the leader.

    If it's Old Ming go for young Clegg
    If it's Baldie Oaten go for Hirsuite Thurso
    If it's Leftie Simon go for Rightie Laws

  • At 10 January, 2006 11:45, Blogger Peter Pigeon said…

    Mark Oaten might still want the job. My guess is that Simon wouldn´t. (What do you think!) I haven´t yet given much thought to the Hemming hypothesis.

  • At 10 January, 2006 11:48, Anonymous Upstart said…

    If Ming wins, he will need to avoid having an heir apparent. Doing so would invite media speculation about how long he intended to stay, and upset the others who might reasonable hope to have a chance in, say, 2010.

    That should rule out: Ed, David, Nick, or perhaps even Mark.

    However, he should seek someone with a contrasting appeal to compliment his own.

  • At 10 January, 2006 12:00, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My money is on Vince Cable being asked. Although it's then the two older men, it opens up the Treasury post for a Laws, Huhne double act

  • At 10 January, 2006 12:02, Anonymous Will said…

    If Ming wins, Simon might be a good choice, although I guess that also depends on his not being president. The new leader could probably get the MPs to elect whomever he wants, but it is still up to them to decide.

  • At 10 January, 2006 12:09, Blogger Peter Pigeon said…

    I don´t think that the new deputy leader will need to give up the day job. But Laws will have the shadow chancellor job sometime or other, I would have thought.

  • At 10 January, 2006 12:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think that the names of Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and Susan Kramer are missing from the list. Maybe also Jeremy Browne, if Ming searches for a young debuty to counterbalance his age.

  • At 10 January, 2006 14:12, Anonymous Alex said…

    Upstart -- I would be disappointed if Ming Campbell deliberately avoided installing a capable young deputy leader out of some perceived threat to himself. I don't think the deputy leader post is important enough to prejudge the next leadership election either...

  • At 10 January, 2006 14:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, it's in the process of prejudging this one!

  • At 11 January, 2006 01:12, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Paul Holmes would be an excellent deputy leader. His election as chair of the parliamentary party shows he has the confidence of MPs, he's more in tune with grassroots and with ordinary voters than any of the others mentioned, and his association with the Beveridge Group means he can act as a counter-weight to the Orange Bookers to keep balance in the party and avoid it drifting rightwards at a time when the political spectrum is swinging back to the left.

  • At 11 January, 2006 15:06, Blogger Cicero said…

    The whole point of Ming as leader would be that he was reasonably collegiate and would "bring on" the stars of the next batch. As for Paul Holmes, I find it very hard to see his attraction against Clegg, Davey, Huhne,Kramer, Laws et al. Also I do not think that he impresses- if we are going for gravitas then Holmes is certainly the opposite of that.

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