Sunday, January 08, 2006

UK journalists knew Charles Kennedy was a drunk.

UK: Not exactly doing that whole public right to know, but probably English tradition to keep some things private.

"Many political journalists admitted after Mr Kennedy's revelation last night that they had for years kept quiet about the extent of the party leader's drinking, instead using euphemisms such as "convivial" and "party-loving". Daisy MacAndrew, Mr Kennedy's former adviser and now a political reporter, was reportedly poised to divulge her former boss's proclivity on ITN last night, bouncing him into an announcement."
In other news, Charles Kennedy didn't like the feeling of knives in his back and he is going to make sure he gets his pound of flesh out of this.
Charles Kennedy was striving yesterday to block the "coronation" of Sir Menzies Campbell as the next Liberal Democrat leader by calling for a contest involving all party members to choose his successor. ....Mr Kennedy, who resigned on Saturday, two days after admitting that he was fighting a drink problem, led opposition to the idea that Sir Menzies could be elected unopposed as a unity candidate. He said a contest was needed so that the party's 73,000 members could have "direct input" after feeling "shut out" of his departure. Kennedy loyalists criticised Sir Menzies, a former Olympic sprinter, who has taken over as acting leader, for failing to come to Mr Kennedy's aid during the crisis that brought him down. Although he repeatedly made clear that he would not stand against Mr Kennedy, he has been positioning himself for months as the leader-in-waiting. "Ming's hands are not clean," a Kennedy supporter said. Others sought to portray him as "Ming the merciless" for the way he had remained aloof as Mr Kennedy's leadership crumbled under the weight of allegations about his drinking and lack of grip on his party. Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrat MP for Harrogate, said he wanted a contest and not a coronation "inspired by a small cabal which was intent on ousting Charles and replacing him with Ming".

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