New Times,
New Thinking.

18 May 2010

Sharks circle around Speaker

Menzies Campbell does what he did to Charles Kennedy, and plots to replace John Bercow.

By James Macintyre

Sir Menzies “Ming” Campbell is almost universally regarded as a decent chap. And I have no doubt that in many respects he is. But he is also ruthlessly ambitious. And if Iain Dale is right, which presumably he is, that Campbell is plotting to replace John Bercow as Speaker of the Commons, then this is shocking news, but not surprising.

It was Ming, after all, who was the real force behind the ousting of Charles Kennedy as Liberal Democrat leader in January 2006. He briefed the press against Kennedy and encouraged other Lib Dem MPs to move against him, leaving no fingerprints, of course.

For reasons I have set out before (read them here), let us hope that Ming — and the fringe right-wingers on the Tory back benches — have less luck this time.

PS: Here is the rather patronising email from Bercow’s arch-enemy Nadine Dorries, known by some MPs as “Mad Nad”, to all new MPs.

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