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Exclusive: First Lib Dem reveals plan to stand for leadership
5 Jan 2006A senior Liberal Democrat has exclusively revealed to DeadBrain that he will stand against Charles Kennedy in the forthcoming leadership contest – the first to do so. Described as "ruthlessly ambitious" and "a leader in waiting", 12-year-old Oliver Smith was recently made president of Amber Valley Lib Dems.
In a move which is likely to be interpreted as an attempt to out-do David Cameron in the youth stakes, Smith said he wanted to be leader in order to make a difference. "I've been interested in politics since I was a child," said the 12-year-old, "but I want to make it more fun. If the party chooses me as leader I'll give everyone sweets and a day out to Alton Towers."
Questioned whether he would continue Mr Kennedy's policy of opposing military involvement in Iraq, Oliver confirmed that he would: "Mummy always taught me that fighting was wrong. If the party elects me as leader I intend to extend that guiding principle to all foreign and defence policy."
However, in a show of honesty, Oliver admitted that he was too young to stand in a general election. "It's true, I can't get into Parliament yet unless accompanied by an appropriate adult, but that's the least of my problems. I've got my GCSE coursework coming up and I'll have to work really hard on that."
Oliver's mother, Lib Dem Parish Councillor Kate Smith, said that she was supporting her son's leadership bid. "I really do hope Ollie wins, he'd love to run the party," she said. "But he'll still have to keep his bedroom tidy and be in bed by ten at the latest."
Political commentator Gregory McMullet said that, as Oliver was so far untainted by binge drinking accusations, he stood a good chance of beating Mr Kennedy. "There might be a problem when his voice breaks and he starts sounding like certain recent Conservative leaders, though," he added.
Kennedy admits to "leadership problem"
5 Jan 2006Kennedy on the rocks, announces leadership contest
5 Jan 2006