MPs back Kennedy on health issues

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Indy Politics

Charles Kennedy has weathered the threat to his leadership brought on by his recent bout of illness, according to his fellow Liberal Democrat MPs.

Charles Kennedy has weathered the threat to his leadership brought on by his recent bout of illness, according to his fellow Liberal Democrat MPs.

The Independent on Sunday has contacted one third of the 54 Liberal Democrat MPs, and all dismissed the Kennedy health scare as a problem that has come and gone.

Menzies Campbell, the party's deputy leader and mooted successor if Mr Kennedy were to step down, said: "The whole thing is a minor distraction which Charles Kennedy's swift return to top form has ended. I am extremely happy with him as leader."

Don Foster, the party's culture spokesman, said: "I don't think it did a great deal to help at the time, but the feeling I've gotten from the constituency is that the mood has turned to one of sympathy."

Mr Kennedy failed to turn up to reply to Gordon Brown's Budget speech because of a stomach bug, and was seen to be sweating heavily when he addressed his party's spring conference last weekend, but was able to make a joke when addressing Scottish party members later in the week.

Matthew Taylor, the party chairman, said: "While it was hard for him to be ill at the conference, making the speech while looking so ill won him a lot of support and sympathy."

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