I got a surprising email from Nicol Stephen about an hour ago.
In it, he announces that he’s stepping down as leader of the Scottish Libdems. He says it’s for family reasons:
But when it goes beyond that, when it crosses a line, something has to be done. And at that stage – when you have to make a choice between family and politics – there can only be one answer.
That sounds to me like his wife has given him an ultimatum: Either you leave that job, or I’ll leave you – no?
The Convenor writes this in a separate email:
Our election rules mean that the post of Leader must be filled by an MSP who must receive the nomination of at least one other MSP. If the election is contested, then there will be a ballot of all Party members. The whole election process is likely to conclude by the start of September.
I hope there’ll be at least one good candidate – somebody who realises that the Libdems are not that far removed from the SNP on many issues, and that many Libdem voters are actually in favour of Scottish independence. Nicol Stephen was definitely far too unionist for my taste.