After months of behind the scenes wrangling, Charles Kennedy has called time on his membership of the Liberal Democrats by announcing the formation of a breakaway political party in time for the General Election.
“The new ‘Bring a Bottle Party’, will bring some back the fun to the political landscape,” an emotional Mr Kennedy told a surprised audience at a Liberal Democrat fund raising event at his Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency.
Rising unsteadily to his feet, the former Lib Dem leader said “I have spent quite a lot of my political career researching, mixing with the public and all that stuff, and will try to represent their interests, and mine, which seem to be mainly confined to drinking, err, supporting one of our great industries.”
Warming to his theme, Mr Kennedy listed his new party’s policies. “Firstly I want to make it quite clear that we are going to be responsible. We will rigidly enforce the current drinking age of 18. Because I for one, am fed up to the back teeth of having to queue for a dram behind all those bloody kids.”
“My new party will not shy away from making tough decisions,” he continued. “Red or white, beer or larger, blended or malt? You will be able to count on us to make these vital choices on your behalf.”
Although Mr Kennedy was vague about how many members of the Liberal Democratic Party were likely to join the BBP, the former leader was later overheard extolling the virtues of one former colleague “I’m going to call my mate Lembit Optic, erm, Opik. He’s my best pal. Maybe he’ll let me borrow a cheeky girl.”
A Liberal Democrat insider said last night that the split had been brewing for some time.