Ming's resignation letter in full

by Stephen Tall on October 15, 2007

Here’s the text of the letter Ming Campbell earlier today submitted to Simon Hughes, as President of the Liberal Democrats:

When I was elected Leader of the Party in March 2006 I had three objectives. First, to restore stability and purpose in the party following my predecessor’s resignation and the leadership campaign itself, second to make the internal operations of the party more professional, and third to prepare the party for a General Election.

With the help of others, I believe that I have fulfilled these objectives, although I am convinced that the internal structures of the party need radical revision if we are to compete effectively against Labour and the Conservatives.

But it has become clear that following the Prime Minister’s decision not to hold an election, questions about leadership are getting in the way of further progress by the party.

Accordingly I now submit my resignation as Leader with immediate effect.

I do not intend to hold a press conference or to make any further comment.

Yours sincerely,

Menzies Campbell
Leader, Liberal Democrats

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17 comments

I think one obvious thing to point out is that his job as leader was not just to prepare for the next election, but to fight it. He has repeatedly said that he would lead the party into the next election and beyond, so I hope over the next few days he will make clear exactly what has changed his mind. I don’t think it can just be the polls as they have been going up and down for a while.

by Bernard Salmon on October 15, 2007 at 8:13 pm. Reply #

Surely because Ming, like most of us, thought the General Election would most likely be at the latest May 2008?

Now we’re look at possibly an election not until 2010.

I think Ming has made a dignified, thoughtful decision and I thank him as a member of the party for putting the party first.

by Steve Jolly on October 15, 2007 at 8:21 pm. Reply #

Ming has had to endure the most insufferable and personal bigotry.

At a time when people are living longer than ever, and are expected to work for longer too, Ming has had to endure despicable cartoons with zimmer frames, skeletons and the rest, including from the so called ‘quality’ press. Imagine if the same abuse was heaped on someone for their race, sex or sexuality.

Ageism is one aspect of our bnecoming a less liberal society.

by Richard Church on October 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm. Reply #

Steve, when Ming became leader, he must have been aware that there might not be a general election within that timescle, and indeed it was quite unlikely. If he wasn’t prepared to stick with it until a possible 2009/2010 election, then he shouldn’t have stood for the leadership in the first place. So either he was lying when he repeatedly said that he’d lead the party into the next election (which I don’t think is the case) or something has happened to change his mind.

by Bernard Salmon on October 15, 2007 at 8:45 pm. Reply #

Absolutely, Richard Church.

And Rupert Murdoch, the arch fiend who orchestrated the campaign against Ming (with the help of Tory trolls and Lib Dem “useful idiots”) is 76 and still working!

by Angus Huck on October 15, 2007 at 8:46 pm. Reply #

Quite right – rather ironic the media could be heard ” did you wield the dagger ? ” The coverage bt the media has been deplorable – it just makes it so easy for them to have the cosy 2 party fight – what we need now is someone willing to take risks and shove it up them – Lab , Tories ans yes – the media – and if we as Lib Dems dont like what is in the media – dont patronise – refuse to buy it – refuse to watch it and take our policies on the street – lets all get to Rochdale and Help Hennigan

by Rochdale Cowboy on October 15, 2007 at 8:59 pm. Reply #

1 . Yes, but I guess Ming wanted in his last statement as a leader only point out those objectives he had fulfilled. Obviously he couldn’t fight the next election, because he was backstabbed before it by the selfish element within the Lib Dems and by the journalists too lazy to write on something of substance after an easy meal.

by Matt D on October 15, 2007 at 9:49 pm. Reply #

Angus, as one of your “useful idiots”(lets see how useful once we start going up in the polls) your whole fixation with Murdouch is madness. Unlike Ming no poor bastard has to vote for him, as a business man he has the money to but people & influence. Ming as a political leader did not, to keep comparing them is just plain idiotic.

by Big Mak on October 15, 2007 at 10:15 pm. Reply #

I notice the headlines in the papers will say Ming was hounded out of office. Not true, but why let the facts get in the way of a story.

Ming’s news was a shock to me and judging by their faces a shock to the parliamentry party. The people who were hounding him were the media, who kept digging to find the few who thought decapitation was the only option because they don’t want a third party at all except to use a stoge to force the other two to change to their (the media) agenda.

So it is media 1 LibDems 0

by lloyd on October 15, 2007 at 11:25 pm. Reply #

Yes Lloyd you are absolutely right and every Liberal Democrat member should spend the next few days hounding the media telling them so. Why do we let the media get away with it? I am a journalist and it makes me ashamed to call myself one at times.

by GRIMOND1 on October 15, 2007 at 11:31 pm. Reply #

Ummm I prefer to pick fights with our competitors rather than the people the public see as the impartial umpire – the media

by Chris on October 15, 2007 at 11:46 pm. Reply #

I listned to an old report on the 87 election I think on BBC Parliament. One thing struck me was that the old labour guard were complaining about the media and said they would invent a newspaper to adress to balance (militant). From a previous thread we already have one -LibDem News!

Seriously we need to up our game with the media and dictate the agenda to them rather then follow their lead. How I will leave to media specaialists I can’t comment let alone spell!

by lloyd on October 16, 2007 at 12:02 am. Reply #

I also saw that repeat of the election night coverage of the 1987 General Election. This is off-topic, but what I most remember is a woman being interviewed saying she had been waiting four years at that point for an operation, and still didn’t know when it was going to happen. If one needs to remember why we fight the Tories then that’s a good example.

Strangest of all, her operation was to have her toes shortened! What’s that all about?

Like I say, off-topic.

by Stuart on October 16, 2007 at 12:18 am. Reply #

My view is that Sir Menzies has selflessly sacrificed his leadership for the greater good of the Party. Before becoming Leader he was widely admired as an expert on foreign affairs as well as for his numerous achievements outside of politics. Let us hope that reputation is quickly restored because there is no doubt ageism has played a part. He saw the Lib Dems through a period of choppy waters after a disasterous Leadership election. This is a crucial moment – is the Party serious or is it a joke? Some people need to also act selflessly and I mean those that think they are good enough to be Leader but clearly do NOT have the political or presentational skills to do the job. Nothing would be worse than a long list of names coming forward the majority of whom would be of mediocre quality. There should be a high quality leadership election around a short (very short) list of names which should act as a platform to restablish in peoples minds what the Liberal Democrats stand for and what are the key simple policies. Please not cutting income tax by 4p which no-one believes but for example the excellent policy of increasing the top rate of tax for those earning over £100,000 to take the lowest earners out of tax altogether. Simple policies like this which stick in the mind and which illustrate a principle (fair and progressive taxes in this case). I feel that it is a last chance saloon.

by derrick chester on October 16, 2007 at 1:26 am. Reply #

F.U. Lib Dems is what Ming is saying. Can’t say I blame him. The party voted him in knowing all about him.

Still, let’s hope we can all get it right this time, but with the recognition that we do need to reconnect a bit with the voter, an issue that goes deeper than who is the leader.

by Sid on October 16, 2007 at 1:43 am. Reply #

Sid, actually I think the “F.U.” was aimed to the media. “OK, you pushed me, but I won’t give you any interview or press conference for your satisfaction.”

I think that the majority of Lib Dems have been loyal to their leader, and Ming knows that. It was the media and a handful of disloyal collaborators who caused his fall.

by Adr on October 16, 2007 at 6:54 am. Reply #

“It was the media and a handful of disloyal collaborators who caused his fall”

or the fact that he was a nice man doing a crap job as leader.
Sorry people but sitting at work and having poeple take the piss out of Ming/the party everday because of him sort of sends a signal. The party may like him but if the public don’t that matters about 0%!
We are not a closed club voting on a leader for our own sake, come on people must realise thats the case.

by Big Mak on October 16, 2007 at 11:16 pm. Reply #

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