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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 11:59 GMT
Kennedy to quit claim 'nonsense'
Charles Kennedy
Mr Kennedy will guide the party into the next election, his office says.
Claims that Charles Kennedy is to stand down as Liberal Democrat leader next year have been dismissed by his office as "total and absolute nonsense".

Some newspapers have reported Mr Kennedy plans to stand down at the party's conference in early March.

It comes after broadcaster Andrew Neil said on the BBC's This Week that he "had it on good authority" this was Mr Kennedy's plan.

But Mr Kennedy's spokeswoman said this had prompted a complaint to the BBC.

'Next election bid'

"There is absolutely no way Charles is going to stand down at conference," she said. "He has made it absolutely clear he intends to lead the party into the next election.

"There is no good authority who could have told Andrew Neil otherwise."

There have also been reports several Lib Dem MPs are set to draw up a letter calling for Mr Kennedy to raise his game or consider his position.

David Cameron's selection as Conservative leader has also prompted questions about his future.

But this week Mr Kennedy warned his critics not to get "too carried away".

He said the Lib Dems have the most MPs they have had for 80 years and he was leading the party in a united direction.

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