Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy calls a leadership election

Kennedy called the election following an admission that he was receiving treatment and help for a “drink problem”. He initially signalled his intention to stand in the contest to allow the party’s membership to decide whether he should continue as leader. However, following the release of a statement signed by 25 Liberal Democrat MPs which signalled that they would not continue to serve under Kennedy, he announced on January 7th that he would not seek re-election. Since his election in 1999, Kennedy had overseen an increase in the number of Liberal Democrat MPs elected, from 46 MPs in 1999 to 62 MPs at the point he resigned in 2006.