In other news… Richard Kemp for Liverpool, Kennedy on the UK, defection in Cambridge, Hughes at Leveson

by Stephen Tall on March 4, 2012

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Richard Kemp to represent Liberal Democrats in Liverpool mayor election in May (Liverpool Echo)

‘He said: “I am standing because I believe that only the Liberal Democrats have the long term strategies which will place this city in a leading position able to create the jobs and investment which this city so badly needs. Liverpool needs an encompassing vision and direction that everyone in the city, residents, business and friends can buy into and support.”

You can read Richard’s own account of his decision to stand at his blog here.

Lib Dem Charles Kennedy calls for togetherness over UK fight (BBC)

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has urged unionist parties to join together to save the UK. … “If we are to press forward with an inclusive approach to the campaign then we must demonstrate that mindset within our campaign itself. I do hope Scottish Labour and its STUC allies will overcome natural apprehensions and see the broader need to share platforms and make common cause with the Scottish Conservatives.”

Vice-chairman of Cambridge Liberal Democrats Clare Blair defects to Labour (Cambridge News)

Mrs Blair, who was vice-chairman of the Lib Dems in Cambridge, had been the city council’s climate change and growth chief until she lost her East Chesterton seat last year. Cllr Roman Znajek, a Liberal Democrat holding one of the other East Chesterton seats, was “amazed” by the move. He said: “She’s joined the party that put Brown and Blair into power – giving us a nasty right-wing authoritarian government that took their inspiration from Margaret Thatcher and sucked up to the rich and powerful, forgetting any principles they once had.”

Simon Hughes: phone hacking cost me the Lib Dem leadership (Express)

Deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes claimed yesterday that his political career was derailed when The Sun obtained confidential telephone logs of his calls to gay chat lines. Journalists from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid pressured him into revealing his homosexuality for a front page article in 2006, he told the Leveson inquiry into media standards. … He added: “As a result of that I then gave an interview. The Sun splashed on the story in January 2006 with the headline ‘Hughes: I have had gay sex’.” The story ended his bid to replace Charles Kennedy as party leader, said Mr Hughes, MP for Bermondsey in London.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.