Monday, May 12, 2008

Astonishing LibDem leadership election

It is truly gob-smacking to report that Councillor Warren Bradley has clung on to power as the LibDem Leader of Liverpool tonight.

Following another disastrous set of local elections, which saw the LibDems only keep control with the support of a defection from someone who was voted for by Labour voters in 2006, the leader faced a challenge from two members of his party.

Councillors Richard Kemp and Paul Clein challenged Bradley in a leadership contest run this evening in the town hall.

The online newspapers report that each was asked to make a speech to the 46/90 Liberal Democrat councillors and then answer questions from the floor.

Despite his presiding over 14 seat losses in 24 months, and being in the middle of a standards board investigation for trying to get staff sacked (along with former leader Councillor Storey who was reported for a second time for the same offence), and being the leader of a one-star authority, condemned by the Audit Commission for a failure to manage the books, the LibDem councillors voted him back in by a margin of 26 to 20. (13 votes for Kemp, 7 for Clein).

So Bradley is still at the helm and we can only assume the LibDem ship will run aground very quickly.

What were they thinking of?

How will they manage group discipline now, at a time when they need it more than ever before? How are they going to ensure that all 46 are in their council chamber seats ready to put their hands up for crucial votes when 20 of them voted for someone else? It will be very tempting for people to drift off to the toilets or for a smoke just before the voting bell rings.

And the LibDem Chief Whip has other matters on his mind, he might not be able to give this his full attention, given that he is currently appearing in court on charges of electoral offences.

There are always byelections, people sadly die, or they fall into ill-health, or have to care for relative, or get a new job or move house. And there are defections too of course.

I would not imagine that this disgraced and disgraceful group will make it all the way until 2010.

We can only watch and wonder as the LibDem ship takes on more and more water, listing dangerously. They wont be playing "Nearer my God to thee" though as they go down, there is not enough of them to scratch up a decent band and they most definitely won't be able to sing from the same hymn sheet.


TimBeau said...

Just saw the news.

Feels a bit similar to when John Major survived his leadership contest - the divisions in the ranks haven't been repaired.

Ultimately we as Liverpool residents suffer as our council leaders may not be entirely focused on offering leadership to the city.

Steve Faragher said...

Keeping "Wozza" is the best thing this shower could ever do, it only goes to show that they havent got a clue. I forsee a defection or two as there has got to be one or two people (and it will only take one or two) who have a scintilla of conscience left in the labdims, but please leave it till after the end of 2008 so the blame for the limp C of C and everything else cant be shifted onto labour, they deserve everything.

Anonymous said...

Back to Basics indeed - hilarious!

scouseboy said...

reading this on my holiday in Malta.
Hilarious!!! Watch them implode!!

Louise Baldock said...

It seems that Cllr Hurst is not to be the Chief Whip any more, but does have a cabinet post. Given his impending court case this is either a master stroke or extreme folly, I guess the courts will decide!

ChrisBurke said...

Hi Loise, good to see a decent Labour councillor from my home town hard at work. Bleak by election result and went in search of some good news and that was you. Keep it up.

Cllr Chris Burke. Deputy Whip. Labour Group, Lincolnshire County Council.