This is a belated newsflash from a corner of the British Isles that we don’t tend to hear much about but where liberalism is quickly gaining root. In the Manx General Election Liberal Vannin, our sister party, advanced from one Member of the House of Keys (MHKs) to three. Not a lot you think? But a good proportion in a chamber consisting only of 24 Members. Because of the system of patronage they have none in the upper chamber which together forms Tynwald the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
Peter Karran, the party Leader has been joined in Onchan by Zac Hall, the youngest MHK and the indefatigable Kate Beecroft the former party Chair has been elected for one of the seats in Douglas. There is now one Labour MHK and all the rest sit as Independents (most probably recognisable as Tories)!
In the subsequent election for Chief Minister Peter Karran was put forward by his colleagues for the position after independent polling by the local media showed that he was the person that by far the largest proportion of Manx people wanted for that position but only the Liberal Vannin MHKs supported him. He was, however, subsequently made Minister for Education and Children.
Although Lib Dems weren’t able to support the campaign because it coincided with the Party Conference season David Ford the Leader of Alliance in Northern Ireland made a campaign visit to help.
So our colleagues are in good health and good spirit and I hope that Peter will soon be over to see fellow Education Minister Sarah Teather and fellow Leader, Nick Clegg.