Charles Kennedy came under further pressure to resign from his role as leader of the Liberal Democrats today as two of his front bench colleagues threatened to quit if he has not gone by Monday morning. Andrew George, spokesman for international development, and Norman Lamb, spokesman for trade and industry, have said their positions are “untenable” after speaking out against Kennedy’s continuing leadership of the party. It is expected that several other members of the Liberal Democrat frontbench will echo those sentiments in a statement due to be released later today.
It’s all starting to look rather bleak for the usually cheerful Charlie. At first there seemed to be a glimmer of hope as he announced a leadership election and no one else put their name forward as a candidate, with several senior MPs stating publically that they would not stand against Kennedy. Initially, it looked as if he would be able to win by default by being the only candidate in the election, but it now appears that whilst his frontbench colleagues might not be willing to contest the position of party leader with Kennedy in an election, they are prepared to force him to step down by threatening to resign en masse if he refuses to jump rather than being pushed.
Update: A statement is expected before 6pm tonight, probably at 17:45 GMT so it will be covered on all the national six o’clock news bulletins. If you want to be the first to hear it, you’re probably best tuning in to BBC News 24 or BBC Radio 4