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Campbell announces Lib Dem leadership rota

Sir Menzies Campbell has announced the rota for proportional sharing of the Liberal Democrat party's leadership duties.

In the first round of voting for the new party leader Sir Menzies received 45% of the votes against 32% for Chris Huhne and 23% for Simon Hughes. Although voting went to a second round, party spokesman Douglas Ramsbottom told our reporter that it was considered that Mr Hughes had clear support from a significant fraction of the voters and that he would, therefore, in the interest of fair play, be given the opportunity to take his turn at leading.

Accordingly, Sir Menzies will serve as leader on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings. Mr Huhne will serve on Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays, and Mr Hughes will be leader on Fridays.

"That's about as close as we can get it without resorting to stop watches," said Mr Ramsbottom.

He noted that consideration had been given to adopting a scheme similar to that used by the most recent former interim Tory leader, Michael Howard, who appointed three other former interim leaders to serve as a "council of elders". However, that scheme had had a number of serious problems, and as it turned out all the three former leaders did was squabble with each other. "So we decided just to go with traditional proportional representation," said Mr Ramsbottom.

He added that there is absolutely no truth to a rumour that when "Flash" Gordon Brown takes over the leadership of New, Improved Labour, sometime this century, Sir Menzies will adopt the title "Emperor Ming".

David "Blairer than Blair" Cameron, the current interim leader of New Conservative, said that once again one of the other parties was stealing Tory ideas. "Well, OK, it's not quite the same, I admit," he said, "but we did pretty much the same thing when Michael [Howard] adopted the "leader of the day" scheme.

Prime Minister Blair was unavailable for comment. An aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that he was busy going through family financial records to see if there any large gifts to his wife that he has been kept in the dark about.

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