After shock resignation, three names in Lib Dem leadership battle
In a shock resignation, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party in Scotland, Nicol Stephen, resigned last night. He said he was doing so to "spend more time with his family."
Stephen was just elected leader of the Scottish Lib Dems in June 2005. He said he would be standing down with immediate effect, and now the race is on to replace him. Three possibel candidates have thrown their hats in the ring.
LIBERAL Democrats could face a three-way choice for a new leader to replace Nicol Stephen after his shock resignation last night.
Finance spokesman Tavish Scott is seen as the favourite and the choice of the party establishment to take over the reins. But Mike Rumbles, who challenged Mr Stephen for the job three years ago, said he would be standing again.
Purvis said he was also considering putting his name forward.
Edinburgh West MSP Margaret Smith, the party's justice spokeswoman at Holyrood, ruled herself out of the contest.
Mr Stephen took colleagues by surprise with his decision to quit, which came just four days after Wendy Alexander resigned as Scottish Labour leader. He said the stresses and strains on family life had become too much.