MPs oust Kennedy ally from key role

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Indy Politics

A key ally of Charles Kennedy has been removed as chairman of the parliamentary party by Liberal Democrat MPs in a sign of disquiet about the future of the party.

A key ally of Charles Kennedy has been removed as chairman of the parliamentary party by Liberal Democrat MPs in a sign of disquiet about the future of the party.

Matthew Taylor was voted out by MPs and replaced with Paul Holmes.

Many of the party's 62 MPs are dissatisfied with the 11 seats they gained at the election. Some believe Mr Kennedy should have done more to capitalise on Tory disarray and disaffection about Tony Blair.

One MP said the election of Mr Holmes, who is said to be against a "lurch to the right" to appeal to Tory voters, showed the new MPs would be less forgiving about lack of progress. They do "not have the tolerance that comes with family", he said. Mr Kennedy's leadership is not under threat, but the backbenchers are "flexing their muscles".

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