Ashdown to renew attempt at realignment

Paddy Ashdown, leader of the Liberal Democrats, will this week renew his efforts to realign British politics, by challenging other parties to create a non-Conservative policy consensus.

He will launch a discussion document as the basis for a round of consultations with academics, think tanks, industrialists and politicians from all parties. The move precedes the Liberal Democrats' conference in Harrogate, where his willingness to seek dialogue with other parties will be the subject of fierce debate.