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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 04:35 GMT
Lib Dem leader too old, says Owen
Lord Owen
Lord Owen says Sir Menzies is too old to lead the Liberals
Sir Menzies Campbell is too old to be leader of the Liberal Democrats and should be replaced by "a young Turk", former SDP leader Lord Owen has said.

In an interview with the Parliamentary Monitor magazine, Lord Owen, 68, said Sir Menzies was, at 65, "only a couple of years younger than me".

He suggested Lib Dem environment spokesman Chris Huhne, who is 52, would be a better choice as leader.

Lord Owen was joint leader of the SDP-Liberal Alliance from 1983 to 1987.

"He [Sir Menzies] should be replaced by a young Turk like Chris Huhne, who has produced some very good ideas on the environment," Lord Owen said.

"It was a thoroughly good thing for him to challenge for the leadership."

Lord Owen also said a Lib Dem-Conservative pact could not be ruled out after the next generation.

"If Cameron has the largest number of MPs but not an outright majority, I hope he can deal with the Liberal Democrats and come to an arrangement," Lord Owen added.

"I think people can see a lot of Conservative policies are acceptable now."

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