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Charles Kennedy MP

former Liberal Democrat leader

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Stories involving Charles Kennedy

Kennedy: Lib Dems 'trying to fight on too many battlefronts'

Former Liberal Democrat party leader Charles Kennedy has said that Lib Dems are "fighting on too many battlefronts" in Government and that the party needs to "pick our fights". Assessing the party's first year in Government, Mr Kennedy said that past year had been "difficult" and that there was "no suggestion that the next twelve months will be any easier".

He pointed to the tuition fees debate as the party's darkest hour in Government, and said that Liberal Democrat ministers now found themselves in the "full media glare". Mr Kennedy added that the AV campaign had been damaging for the Lib Dems, resulting in electoral reform being "kicked into the really long grass".


Warsi warns of AV 'fascism'

Conservative party chairman Baroness Warsi has warned that AV gives more power to extremists. In an opinion piece for The Sun, she said that AV would mean mainstream candidates "pandering to extremist voters".

The news follows yesterday's "Yes" vote event in which Ed Miliband joined former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy and other senior MPs yesterday in a call for Britain to vote in favour of the Alternative Vote. Green Party leader Caroline Lucas also spoke at the cross-party event, but Nick Clegg was notably absent after Mr Miliband refused to share a platform with him.  


Clegg has 'no plans' to raise VAT

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said his party has no plans to increase VAT but warned there could be a "VAT bombshell" under the Conservatives. He added his party's tax policies have been costed "in full".


Charles Kennedy has left the Liberal Democrat conference early, citing family reasons. There has been speculation that the former leader's departure owed more to his feeling uncomfortable with the direction the party has taken since the general election.


Oldham race heats up

Both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband will visit Oldham this week as the by-election campaign for Phil Woolas' former seat of Oldham and Saddleworth heats up. Other senior Lib Dems, such as Simon Hughes and Charles Kennedy, will also be campaigning in what is seen in some quarters as a sign of anxiety among the party leadership over the race.


Lib Dems deny Kennedy rumour

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said he has received an e-mail from predecessor Charles Kennedy calling rumours that Mr Kennedy would defect to the Labour party "nonsense". Mr Clegg said Mr Kennedy had described it as "the silliest of the silly season stories in August".


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