Lib Dem front bencher Simon Hughes has today launched his bid to become deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats following Business Secretary Vince Cable’s surprise resignation earlier in the week.
He is the second candidate to announce his intention to run as Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron backed by former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, began his own campaign yesterday.
Kick-starting his campaign from his constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark Hughes said:
“Our party is at the beginning of an exciting journey in a difficult and challenging time for our country.
“We are now in government and implementing Liberal Democrat policies for the first time in generations. The first UK coalition for 65 years will mean great changes and challenges for Liberal Democrat MPs and our party around the country.”
“I believe that I have the strength and breadth of experience to make sure that our party is a strong, supportive but independent voice within and around the coalition. We must hold fast to our ambition to grow our party and expand the number and diversity of Liberal Democrat elected representatives at all levels of government in the five years ahead”
Vince cable in support of Hughes gave his endorsement:
“Simon has given the most phenomenal service to the party over his 27 years as an MP. He represents the best traditions of the Liberal Democrats, both as a parliamentary campaigner and community activist. Simon is the person best placed to follow me as deputy leader and uphold the values of our party.”
By Richard Sudan