Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
"Another middle-aged man": Shelagh Fogarty questions Lib Dem MP on new leader Sir Ed Davey
27 August 2020, 17:35
"Some say this is just another middle-aged white man": Shelagh Fogarty questions Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper over the party's new leader Sir Ed Davey.
Sir Ed Davey has won the race to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats; the acting leader will now take over on a permanent basis after beating his competitor fellow MP Layla Moran.
Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper said Sir Ed Davey is the right man for the job as "we're about to go into the autumn and we're facing a triple threat: Covid, Brexit and the climate emergency."
Ms Cooper said Sir Ed is the man who has championed renewable energy before Parliament and has secured a promise from the Prime Minister to conduct a coronavirus inquiry.
These are examples of him holding the Government to account at an incredibly worrying time, she said.
Shelagh asked: "Some criticism I've seen is it's all white middle-aged men again leading the party, what do you say to that?"
Ms Cooper responded, "We've got a very diverse team and, let's be honest, politics is a team sport. If you look at the group of eleven Liberal Democrat MPs we have more female than male MPs, we have to MPs from a black Asian or minority ethnic background.
"As a team we are quite diverse and I think we need to take every individual candidate on their merits."
Shelagh asked whether Ms Cooper is confident that the "whiff of coalition" has gone.
Ms Cooper confirmed the Lib Dems "are a long way from that now" as there has been "enormous levels of incompetence" from the Conservative Government "with U-turn after U-turn."
The MP told Shelagh she is optimistic for the future of the party as in last year's election they won a million more votes and came second place in around 90 different seats so "some of those building blocks are there already."
She concluded that Sir Ed is the right man to continue building the blocks of success and is pleased the other members agreed.