Okay, so here’s some personality politics for you

by Stephen Tall on September 19, 2007

Let’s not be too po-faced… of course there’s some discussion at conference about who will succeed Ming come the time.

As Chris Huhne told Lib Dem Voice today, “the cat’s out of the bag” that he’d like to be the party’s leader one day – after all, he did come from nowhere to finish as a strongly-placed runner-up last time.

Nick Clegg played a straight bat at last night’s Observer fringe – interviewed by Andrew Rawnsley, he said he would “probably” stand next time there was a vacancy.

There is also growing speculation that Steve Webb, currently drawing up the party’s manifesto, might also throw his hat into the ring, though he deflected attempts to draw him on the subject at the Channel 4 / Hansard Society fringe (‘Are political parties a waste of time?’). Apparently mugs with Steve’s face on them are the top sellers at this year’s conference.

One internal election we know will be decided in the next year is who will succeed Simon Hughes as party president in 2008, when his term of office comes to an end.

So far, three candidates have emerged: Lembit Öpik, who was defeated by Simon in 2004, and announced his candidacy in the FT last month; Baroness Ros Scott, whose candidacy was formally declared over at Mark Valladares’ blog; and John Smithson, a Lib Dem councillor from Kirklees in Huddersfield.

Ryan Cullen has more.