Lib Dem local convener quits, saying Willie Rennie's bizarre photo calls undermine party's credibility

The convener of East Lothian Liberal Democrats has quit his post in protest at party leader Willie Rennie’s bizarre photo opportunities.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 7:00 am

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Kit Fraser claimed Mr Rennie’s election campaign – which included perching on a giant deckchair on the beach at South Queensferry, taking a karate lesson at the Meadowsand driving a Lamborghini Huracan supercar at Ingliston racing circuit – had undermined the party’s credibility.

And he said the Lib Dems desperately needed a change of image.

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Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie staged this photocall in South Queensferry.

Mr Rennie, who has been Scottish Lib Dem leader for a decade, has become famous for his unusual photo calls during elections. The party had hoped to increase its Holyrood contingent at the election last week but instead dropped from five to four MSPs, losing privileges like a seat on the business bureau and a guaranteed slot at the weekly First Minister’s Questions.

Mr Fraser said he had resigned his convener’s role “in the knowledge that it may threaten the future of the East Lothian party but in the hope it will help to trigger substantial changes in the wider Scottish Liberal Democrats”.

He said: “We had a miserable Holyrood election and, as I say in my letter to members and supporters, I believe that was almost entirely due to the party leadership’s failure.

"It was recently reported that Willie Rennie was questioned about ‘his tendency to be involved in bizarre photo opportunities’. He replied that he didn’t take himself too seriously. Clearly neither do most people.

He also posed with an English bull terrier during a visit to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

"I and several of my colleagues winced at every new ‘bizarre’ pic, convinced that it further undermined his and the party’s authority and credibility.

"The party desperately needs a change of image, leadership and, dare I say it, professionalism.”

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And he drove a Lamborghini Huracan supercar at Ingliston Racing Circuit at the Royal Highland Centre.

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