Transparency is for Lib Dems, too

by Stephen Tall on June 23, 2009

The casual reader of this post – Duff-Verhofstadt drive to federal Europe sees its first Liberal casualty – over at The Yorkshire Guidon blog might not understand its full implication:

Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, in the running to lead the Liberals and Democrats group (ALDE) in the European Parliament, and his campaign manager UK Lib Dem MEP Andrew Duff make no secret of their desire to see a ‘federal Europe’. … Such Federalist credentials are impeccable and yet are starting to spook MEPs in the ALDE group. Today saw the first defection as the widely regarded Finnish MEP from the Liberal-linked Centre Party, Hannu Takkula, left ALDE to join the new UK Conservative-led grouping. … Such defections could be the first of many should Verhofstadt take over the leadership of ALDE.

A simple enough warning, you might think, that the ALDE group should be wary of supporting Guy Verhofstadt as its leader. Unfortunately, The Yorksire Guidon’s author, Stewart Arnold, does not declare his very personal interest in the decision, though there’s a hint in the concluding paragraph:

The other runner in the race to lead the ALDE group is UK Liberal Democrat, Diana Wallis. Insiders say it is too close to call at this stage.

Stewart is in fact married to Diana, something The Yorkshire Guidon’s readers have every right to know is the case when reading a piece by the husband of an MEP talking up his spouse’s candidacy while rubbishing the record of her rival. Badly done.

Update: Stewart has edited his blog-post now to declare his interest – “The Yorkshire Guidon is related to one of the other contenders in this contest”.