Thursday, October 18, 2007

Steve: Personal statement

Steve asked me to post the following on the Facebook group. I think it's only appropriate that it's posted here too:

"Many thanks to everyone who has joined this group and registered their support and sent messages - it has been much appreciated. I decided in the end not to go for it for a mix of positive reasons - I have a lot of respect for Nick and think he will do a good job - and also weighing up the cost of a campaign (and leadership) on my family, especially being based outside London as we are. In the end I think it's the right decision, but I want to thank each one of you for your expressions of support".

There'll be a next time.

A statement from Steve Webb MP

After a lot of heart-searching and consulting friends, colleagues and - not least - family, I've finally decided not to stand for election as next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

There are a number of reasons for my decision, but one of the most positive is that I think we already have in the field an excellent potential leader of the party in the shape of Nick Clegg who I will now be backing. I've known Nick for several years and have always been impressed by his sharp mind, his strong presentational skills, his strategic political judgment and also his way with people. I think he is best placed to take the party forward and I look forward to working with him if he is elected to help strengthen our party and take us on to new achievements.

I've talked in depth with Nick about the issues that are particularly important to me, including making sure that our message on public services is distinctive and stresses the importance of fair access for all to quality schools, hospitals and pensions, and I have confidence that he understands and shares those concerns.

On a personal level, it has become clear to me that a campaign and the job of leader would have a huge cost for us as a family based outside London.

I would like to place on record my thanks to the large numbers of MPs, party members, friends and total strangers (!) who have urged me to stand for all their good wishes and encouragement.

Steve will not run

Its official Steve will not be running for the top job. Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign, Steve was aware of the site and was "flattered" at the support. Its been interesting to watch how the bloggers4webb campaign snowballed, its just sad it had to come to such an end.

I won't tell you who to support now, but I will add that Chris Humne is probably one of the most dull people in the race! Maybe
John Hemming can save the Lib Dems? Actually on second thoughts.........

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The blogosphere: what everybody is saying about Steve

Lots of bloggers across the web have been sounding out Steve's credibility and his subsequent rising profile.

LiveJournal: nhw
It is interesting that a) the front-runner is already so clearly established, despite the fact that we are in very early days yet, and b) that Steve Webb is so close behind Chris Huhne for second place. Myself, I haven't made my mind up yet. I voted for Huhne last time, but the two other likely serious candidates (Clegg and Webb, not Hemming) both seem to me to share his strengths, weaknesses and policy preferences. I'm willing to be educated, of course.

Even from a South West Conservative Future blogger:
He shouldn't be underestimated as a leadership contender. The national press are primarily talking about Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne, but a look at Steve Webb's record to date suggests he has a chance. In 1997 he won Northavon off the Conservatives, he continued to consolidate his hold on the seat to the extent that in the new Thornbury and Yate seat, he has a 10,000 plus majority... The "other Webb" in South Gloucestershire is likely to be a real contender to lead the Lib Dems.

And finally West Brom Blog with a poll that puts the candidates on the following:

Nick Clegg: 35.7%
Chris Huhne: 14.3%
Steve Webb: 28.6%
Other: 21.4%

It's clear Steve is rising fast. Don't forget to express your support by joining the Steve for Lib Dem Leader Facebook group!

Breaking News: Steve has enough nominations to run!

According to the Webb log Steve has established that he would have enough nominations from MP's to take part in the contest if he so wishes. He is now deciding whether running would be in the best interests of the party, his constituents and (not least) his family.

Watch Steve on Newsnight

You can watch Steve's performance on Newsnight last night by clicking HERE
(You will need to scroll forwards 18 minutes into the program).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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