Lib Dem frontrunner drafts in Browne

Liberal Democrat leadership favourite Sir Menzies Campbell has turned to former PRO Jeremy Browne MP as campaign press secretary following Charles Kennedy’s resignation last week.

Browne said the campaign would show Menzies as 'a person of authority and stature who can bring the party together', adding: 'The Ming the Merciless tag is rubbish.' The ex-Edelman and Dewe Rogerson man led the Lib Dems' PR team in the late 1990s.

The campaign for  Mark Oaten – a former Shandwick consultant and Westminster Communications MD – is supported by Luther Pendragon partner Ben Rich and former London Development Agency PA manager Jon Sacker. Also in the Oaten camp is Oliver Kendall, who this week resigned as a Kennedy aide. Lib Dem head of press Mark Littlewood is Campbell's press secretary in the latter's capacity as acting party leader. Party president Simon Hughes was expected to announce his intentions by the end of the week.

Kennedy's successor will not be appointed until 2 March, providing the party with a guaranteed, rare run of publicity. 

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