13 Sep 2012

Ed Davey: The lowdown from a possible future Lib Dem leader

When Nick Clegg promoted Ed Davey to the Cabinet, was he anointing his chosen successor? Some close to the leader would like to think so. Does he have the stuff of leadership? What makes him tick? These and other questions I’ll be asking the Energy and Climate Change Secretary at a Channel 4In Conversation” fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrats’ conference at 1pm, Monday 24 September 2012 at The Grand (Empress Suite) in Brighton.

He’s known as an Orange Book Lib Dem, ideologically close to the leadership but it was green issues that first brought him into politics. Has life in the coalition changed his mind? Is the coalition turning a dirty greyish green as the economic gloom continues and the Tory ministerial team shifts to the right?

Ed Davey has a reputation as a safe pair of hands, competent, hard-working, bright. But not someone who would set the room on fire. So what have some senior colleagues seen in him that makes them talk privately with passion about him as leadership material? I’ll be trying to find out and asking Ed Davey about his challenging childhood. Ed Davey was orphaned at 15 when his mother died after a long illness. His father had died when Ed was only four. What impact did loss have on him?

In the Business department, he had to do battle over employment rights. What does he make of the Tories up close? Is there a growth plan and why isn’t it working?

And where does he think future Lib Dem votes will come from and why? Come and hear a possible future leader and see if you think he’s got it.

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