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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 08:57 GMT
New Lib Dem leader to greet party
Sir Menzies Campbell
Sir Menzies said there would be no frontbench job for Charles Kennedy
New Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell is to make his first appearance in front of his party, a day after his leadership election victory.

Sir Menzies, who has vowed to be more than "a safe pair of hands", will address a rally at the start of the party's spring conference in Harrogate.

The 64-year-old says he is ready to take risks to modernise the party.

A reshuffle is expected on Monday, but Sir Menzies said he would not offer his predecessor Charles Kennedy a job.

Hughes and Huhne

In forming a front bench team, Sir Menzies is likely to consider what role defeated leadership rivals Mr Hughes and Mr Huhne should play and whether or not to reward those who supported his campaign.

Backers included Ed Davey, Sarah Teather, Vincent Cable, Nick Clegg and David Laws.

The post of deputy leader - which Sir Menzies himself held as well as being foreign affairs spokesman - has yet to be decided upon.

BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said the new leader was "promising a mix of youth and experience".

FIRST ROUND
Sir Menzies Campbell - 23,264
Chris Huhne - 16,691
Simon Hughes - 12,081

Sir Menzies will make a short address on the stage at a conference rally on Friday evening, ahead of his key speech on Sunday.

He will share a platform with three of the party's recent by-election victors and try to rally members for the local elections in May.

Speaking on BBC One's Breakfast on Friday, he said he would rule out any pacts or deals with other parties to gain power at Westminster.

SECOND ROUND
Chris Huhne, Sir Menzies Campbell and Simon Hughes
Sir Menzies Campbell - 29,697
Chris Huhne - 21,628

Lib Dems had to "maximise our potential" by "getting the largest number of votes and the largest number of seats".

Sir Menzies said he wanted to lead the party "back to government".

In his acceptance speech on Thursday he agreed he was a "safe pair of hands", but said he was "ready to take risks, ready to challenge orthodoxy and ready to challenge the party too."

Sir Menzies said: "Our task now is this: to build a strong, effective powerful Liberal Democrat party, with the objective of ensuring a greener, fairer, decentralised and democratic Britain, a Britain at peace with itself at home and admired abroad."

HAVE YOUR SAY
Sir Menzies has common sense and intelligence. Who cares if he's the wrong side of 50?
Rich West, Bristol, UK

Sir Menzies told the BBC last week that he could see no reason why he could not be leader aged 72, allowing him to fight two general elections.

Mr Huhne said the new leader had a "hard-won and decisive mandate to lead this party to new advances with the backing of all of us".

Mr Hughes, who was eliminated in the first round of voting after coming third, told his new leader: "I am absolutely clear that we will go... from strength to strength towards the government that Britain desperately needs and that we are all so unitedly determined to achieve."

The ballot of party members was called after Mr Kennedy stepped down earlier this year days after revealing he had sought help for a drink problem.


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