Friday, January 06, 2006

Daisy, Daisy, give us your answer do.

Iain Dale (with a nod towards Guido) reveals that you can't trust your former employees. Especially if they are Liberal Democrats.

Before taking up her post with ITN, Daisy McAndrew was Charlie Kennedy's press secretary.
She handed his private office a dossier early this afternoon and within an hour it was announced Kennedy would be making a personal statement. Shortly afterwards 5 Live's John Pienaar reported that 11 LibDem Shadow Cabinet members had signed a letter of no confidence, which in typical LibDem fashion, they wimped out of sending. It seems that Hughes, Oaten and Campbell had all declined to sign it. Three Portillo's in the making? At 6pm Kennedy admitted in a very dignified manner that he had a drinking problem and put in train the process for a leadership election.Lembit Opik has appeared denying that Kennedy had lied about his drinking problem and said he was courageous for admitting to it now. The fact is, of course, that Kennedy wouldn't have said anything had he not been forced into it by Daisy McAndrew.And of McAndrew herself? At no point during her report did she mention the fact that she used to work for Kennedy. She should have. I hope there aren't too many mirrors for her to look into when she gets home tonight.

The dossier itself reported the details of the meeting in 2004 when four of the great and the good in the Liberal Democrat party confronted Charlie over his drink problem and demanded that he sought help.

The question remains - what inspired her to break this story now? Or should that be who? Somebody who had been at the 2004 reading of the riot act, perhaps?

At the moment, the most serious candidate not to have declared undying support for the leader is Simon Hughes, so I'd put money on him standing. Whether the Orange Book Bunch put forward one of their own to counter him remains to be seen - it won't be Oaten, but there are others. Anyone for Teather? Thought not.

It should also be noted that Kennedy and his office have repeatedly denied any problems with alcohol over the years - with some journalists reporting that they were on the receiving end of some heavyweight legal threats to warn them off publication. Not exactly the image that the squeaky-clean Kennedy has tried to promote (when he's not misunderstanding the rules on campaign contributions).


Ornette said...

Where is our free press in all this? Did nobody know? Seems to have been an open secret at Westminster.

Ornette said...

'The question remains - what inspired her to break this story now'

Good question. If she (Daisy) had revealed what she knew when she was on Breakfast or Neil's show the result of the election might have been different.

Brownie said...

Winston Churchill liked a drink.
Couldn't call him a political failure though ...

aicaramba said...

Even if he had been drunk, Charles Kennedy talked a lot more sense than most politicians, Cabinet members included, do sober.