After several days of speculation, allegations (and later acceptance) of drink problems, murmerings of discontent within the party and finally an ultimatium of “you go or we will” from 21 MPs, Charles Kennedy has finally stood down from the position of leader of the Liberal Democrats.
I’m not very surprised or shocked to hear the news though, Kennedy’s time was limited the moment he came out and publically acknowledged a drinking problem. Whilst I applaud him for admitting to the problem and seeking help for it, the admission caused him to lose a lot of confidence from the MPs that he is supposed to lead and inspire. As soon as questions start to be raised about your leadership (in any area, but particularly politics) you have to either take direct and conclusive action to quash them and the perpetrators or stand down and let someone else take up the reigns of command. Kennedy failed to deal with the rumours over his drink problems quickly enough, and he has paid a heavy price for his lack of response.