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.