Conference opposes student motion to abolish monarchy

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The Liberal Democrats rejected a move yesterday by the youth and student wing of the party to abolish the monarchy and replace the Queen with an elected head of state.

Mr Kennedy opposed the motion, which proposed that a referendum be held on establishing "a democratic head of state". He added that he would not back such a referendum but only because other issues were more urgent.

His made his comments after Menzies Campbell, the party's deputy leader, said it was "time to start again" on the constitutional position of the Queen.

Mr Kennedy said: "We have a broad, broad canvas in our party of unfinished business where constitutional matters are concerned and I would like to address an awful lot of those before I got on to the issue of a referendum on the future of the monarchy. If we have time for any referendum, I would like to see one on the European single currency."

Yesterday's motion, entitled Towards a Democratic Head of State said: "It is time the people of the UK were given a choice on ... their head of state."