UK 14 September 2010 Charles Kennedy's cautious rebellion Lib Dem wary of large cuts but says he's not interested in being "an irritant". Print HTML Since the silly season rumours of his imminent defection to Labour, we haven't heard much from Charles Kennedy. But the former Lib Dem leader has re-emerged in time for the conference season, giving a rare interview to BBC Scotland. Asked for his thoughts on the coming cuts, Kennedy declared that it was important not to "throw the baby out with the bath water" and spoke of the need for "enlightened" investment and expenditure. But it looks like those hoping for a full-frontal rebellion from the Scot will be disappointed. Having previously lamented that the coalition agreement wrecked the possibility of a centre-left realignment, he now insists that the Lib Dems "must make a success of it" and that he's not "interested in being an irritant or sniping from the sidelines". With Bob Russell raging against George Osborne's "unethical" benefits cuts and Simon Hughes declaring that a progressive alliance is still "on the agenda", Kennedy's criticisms no longer seem as strident as they once did. The former Lib Dem leader is clearly playing the long game. › Whoever wins the Labour leadership must distance the party from Murdoch George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles Metro mayors can help Labour return to government How the Brexit referendum has infantilised British politics Vote Leave have won two referendums. Can they win a third?