Ming’s behind-the-scenes account of CK’s downfall

by Stephen Tall on February 23, 2008

Ming Campbell’s autobiography is due out shortly – you can pre-order it from Amazon here, and earn the Lib Dems some commission – and is currently being serialised by the Daily Mail. No surprise that the first instalment should focus on Charles Kennedy’s battle with alcoholism and his forced resignation as leader in January 2006.

Much of the account is familiar – the growing awareness of Charles’s problems within the Westminster village, and the protectiveness of Charles’s inner team. But Ming also describes his first realisation of how Charles’s drinking was beginning to impede his ability to do his job – when they were both due to meet Palastinian leader, Yasser Arafat in October 2001, Ming relates how Charles was late, shaking badly, and able only to ask one question in between dashes to the toilet.

And, in case all of that isn’t sufficient to pique your interest, you can also read about (unfounded) newspaper allegations of Lady Elspeth’s “affair” with David Steel…