Monday, 15 September 2008

It's not that complicated

I've just completed my annual conference five minutes with the Liberal Democrat leader.

The best newsline was his emphatic support for Eleanor Burnham as the next leader of the party in Wales.

OK, I made that up in the absence of a world exclusive.

During the interview, he denied that his party's planned £20bn cuts in public spending would hit the Welsh Assembly Government's budget, although the £800m cut in the English road building programme would, I'd have thought, have some knock-on effect.

He also dismissed suggestions by one of his AMs, Peter Black, that the new economic policy is a little confusing - "it's not that complicated". (Peter's response to the question of what regional Assembly Members do is almost as long as Mike Ashley's diatribe on Newcastle United. Let's hope his inquisitor doesn't conclude that anyone who can spare that much time to respond in depth......)

Back to Nick Clegg. Disappointingly, both for me and those with ambitions in that direction, he refused to reveal his preferred choice as the next leader of the Welsh Lib Dems: "The worst thing the leader of a political party can do is start interfering with internal party elections. We are a very democratic party, a party owned, shaped, run by the members."

As is traditional at these times, I did ask the Lembit question. This is his response: "I think the public actually react very well to the fact that whatever you think of Lembit he's a human being he's a strong personality, he's not a colourless politician, he's got a varied life, he wears his heart on his sleeve and I actually think that people react very well to the fact that he stands out from the crowd."

All examples of Lembit standing out from the crowd gratefully received.

No comments: