Scotland politics

Alistair Carmichael rules out Lib Dem leadership bid

alistair carmichael and nick clegg Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Carmichael has been tipped as a possible successor to Nick Clegg

Alistair Carmichael has appeared to have ruled out a future bid for leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

It follows media speculation that the Scottish Secretary could be a potential successor to Nick Clegg.

Opinion polls have suggested the Lib Dems are set to lose many seats across the UK and Scotland in May's general election.

Mr Carmichael's Orkney and Shetland seat is considered to be one of the party's safest.

This has led to him being named in some quarters as a possible future leadership contender.

'Furthest away'

But when asked whether he would like to lead the party, Mr Carmichael said: "No. There's no vacancy and I have the constituency that is furthest away from London.

"I have got a family that still includes school age children. And the commitment that it takes to be party leader in modern politics is enormous.

"My family already miss out on a lot just by virtue of the fact that I'm an MP and I'm a minister and I'm away from home every week .

"At least I feel that they miss out on a lot, they might feel differently."

Mr Carmichael did not rule out continuing to have a role at the Scotland Office if the Lib Dems were in coalition after May.

He said: "Who has a job anywhere is for the prime minister and deputy prime minister, and that is well above my pay grade. I have loved every second of being a minister but I've loved every second of being an MP."

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