Sir Nick Harvey MP can have few reasons to be wholly in sympathy with the ConDem coalition. Actually, his relationship with his own LibDem party might be considered to be … semi-detached.
Let’s tick off a few reasons:
- Newly elected in 1992, he was the unique LibDem to vote against Maastricht;
- He was less than effusive about the “leadership qualities” of Charles Kennedy;
- He opted out of being the LibDem front-man on Culture, Media and Sport to spend more time with his family (now there‘s a new one!);
- He was LibDem Minister of State at Defence from the start of the ConDem coalition to last September’s re-shuffle. He distinguished himself at the outset of the Libyan adventure by shrugging off questions of exit-strategy: “How long is a piece of string? We don’t know how long this is going to go on for.”
- For that, or other infringements, he was returned empty (except for the knighthood) to the back-benches.
Still, you can’t keep a good man down.
Today, according to Paul Waugh at politicshome, Harvey is all of a-tweet:
Dontcha just lurve that hashtag!
Or, as today’s Daily Telegraph has it:
Maria Hutchings (Conservative)
— She’s a mum-of-four. This is the mantra that Mrs Hutchings and others keep repeating in their campaign to present the Tory candidate as ordinary, straight-talking and down-to-earth…
— She doesn’t come from Eastleigh but appears to have earned some local stripes by staying here with her family after a defeat at the 2010 general election. Back then, she promised to live in the town and commute to Westminster each day.- Her local credentials were somewhat undermined when she was accused of cutting and pasting a description of Eastleigh’s history from its Wikipedia page
— She is a former Labour supporter who once confronted Tony Blair on television over the lack of schools and services for her disabled son.
— Despite her outspoken nature, she rejects the idea she is a feminist as she “doesn’t like labels”. She was one of a band of ambitious female wannabe MPs who use[d] to be described as “Cameron’s cuties”.
By some partial accounts, Mrs Hutchings is being very closely-minded.