Monday, December 17, 2007

Tasks for new leader: First, stop the backstabbing

Nick Assinder on BBC News Online looks forward to the Liberal Democrats, for the first time in two years, having a period free (hopefully) from anguish about the leadership.

He outlines the main tasks for the new leader, starting with getting a grip of the parliamentary party:

Probably the first thing he has to do is get a solid grip of his parliamentary party, to ensure there is no more plotting and that his MPs fully unite behind him.

That will mean offering frontbench jobs to some of his rivals, but it may also mean taking a tough line with those who habitually snipe at their leader - and he knows exactly who they are.

But after the past two years, he should be working with the grain on that one.

The next big task will be to turn outwards. After a long and dangerous period of introspection, the party has slipped off some voters' radar - despite Mr Cable managing to grab more than his fair share of positive headlines.

Stop Tories

That will mean getting the party's voice heard clearly on big issues, settling any outstanding policy concerns - such as the financing of the NHS, the future of Trident and nuclear energy, for example - and even bringing a bit of chutzpah to the role.

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