BOROUGH Liberal Democrats have welcomed the appointment of their new national leader.
Derek Gaskell, who leads the party’s group on the council and represents Riverside ward, said he was pleased with his new boss, Nick Clegg.
Mr Clegg was formally crowned last week following a two-month contest sparked by the resignation of former leader Sir Menzies Campbell.
Cllr Gaskell said: “It was a very close vote between Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne. Either of them would have done a good job.
“Mr Clegg might give a new image to the party, because nowadays it’s as much about personality as it is politics.
“He’s got a good sense of humour and good policies. Now it’s just a case of translating that to the public.’
Cllr Gaskell said it should help that Mr Clegg, who beat Mr Huhne to the leadership by just 511 members’ votes, was a former journalist, so he would know how to generate publicity for the party.
And commenting on reports that Mr Clegg was in co-operation talks with both PM Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron, Cllr Gaskell said: “We have got to work with all people and if there is a good idea, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.”
He added: “Mr Clegg is only 40 years old, good looking and charismatic.
“He won the vote so members now just want to get on with their work. I think he will do a good job.”