Diary: Hit or Miss... Charles Kennedy

After missing last week's Budget due to ill health, Charles Kennedy's speech at the Lib Dem's conference was set to show the leader was back. The reality though was an unmitigated disaster. With a 'dark suit hung off his gaunt thin frame', according to The Times, Kennedy struggled throughout, stopping to drink water and mop his brow. The media pounced on Westminster rumours of drink problems. Negative headlines, including the Daily Mirror's 'Kennedy: I am not a drunkard', mixed with calls to have a top to toe health check. Better advice must surely be never to appear in such a state again.

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