Paul Rowen joins the Simon Hughes Campaign

Date published: 19 January 2006

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has today confirmed his support for Simon Hughes MP to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.  Paul said, "I have been actively talking to members and residents in Rochdale over the past week or so.  They overwhelmingly tell me that Simon Hughes is best placed to move the Liberal Democrats forward.  I am delighted to announce my support for him today."
Paul continued, "Simon has done an excellent job as Party President, raising the profile of the party across the country.  His visit to Rochdale in March was hugely successful - Simon visited Alice Ingham Court and went on a tour of Milkstone.  He is very popular with grass roots members and I feel that he would be the best possible leader for members and residents in Rochdale."
Lib Dem Leadership Candidate Mark Oaten was due to visit Rochdale today but has pulled out of the race for the Leadership.  Paul Rowen MP said, "It was a shame that Mark will not stand. Although I had made my mind up that I was supporting Simon, Mark brought many positives to the campaign.  I didn't want to be come out in support for Simon until Mark had visited as I felt that it would have undermined his visit."
Paul has been joined by former Rochdale MP Sir Cyril Smith MBE in endorsing Simon Hughes.  Sir Cyril said, "I have carefully considered all the candidates. Simon Hughes MP has been a personal friend for over 20 years and I have no hesitation in giving him my full support.  I know him well and he is a first class, hard working MP who will be an excellent leader of our party.  I wish him well!"

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