Ming Campbell’s successor selected: Tim Brett to fight North East Fife for Lib Dems in 2015

by Stephen Tall on March 18, 2014

tim brettFormer Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell announced last October he’d retire as MP for North East Fife at the next general election, after eight elections (five of them successful) and 28 years.

His successor has now been announced: Tim Brett, leader of Fife Council Liberal Democrats and former chief executive of Ninewells Hospital, will contest the seat for the Lib Dems. Here’s what his biography on the Scottish Lib Dem website says about him:

Tim has lived in NE Fife since 1985 and has been a Councillor since 2003. He held senior management positions with NHS Tayside and latterly was Director of Health Protection Scotland.He is currently a member of NHS Fife Health Board and Chair of the Health and Social Care Partnership which works to achieve greater integration between health and social care.
Tim was part of the leadership team on Fife Council’s Lib Dem/SNP coalition and Chair of the Council’s Social Work and Health committee with a budget of £220 million from 2007-12. Fife was voted best social care provider in the UK and has the best results in the recently published Care Commission report “Making The Grade”. At his suggestion Fife was the first Scottish council to be showcased at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool in September 2010.
He has served on many Scottish government working groups, most recently on the Group charged with Reshaping Care for Older People and is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Health and Social Care. He regards the challenge of meeting the needs of Scotlands growing elderly population as one of the key issues that Scotland faces.
Tim has worked closely with Sir Menzies Campbell MP n NE Fife and is currently vice convenor of the local party.
After graduating from university, Tim was a volunteer teacher with VSO in Sierra Leone, West Africa and later returned to manage a hospital there – one of the poorest countries in the world.
Tim is the session clerk of Creich, Flisk and Kilmany church and is also a keen hill walker, having completed the Munro’s in 2004 and having climbed Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe.
Tim believes strongly in the difference that Liberal Democrats can make to the life of the people of Scotland and that his wide experience will be a major asset to Tavish Scott’s team in the Parliament.

On paper, North East Fife is one of the party’s safer seats: it would take an 11% swing to the Tories for the Lib Dems to be defeated here, Ming having increased his majority from 1,447 in 1987 to 9,048 in 2010. But the party’s record of successfully defending seats when a long-term incumbent stands down is mixed.

Tim Brett’s selection is something of a first for the Lib Dems this parliament – he’s the first white man to have been selected to defend a held seat.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.