Rebecca Taylor to Be New LibDem MEP
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 31st January, 2012
After several days of uncertainty, it has now been formally announced by Liberal Democrat headquarters that Rebecca Taylor will become the new LibDem MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside following Diana Wallis’s sudden resignation. Diana’s move came as a shock to friends and strangers alike, particularly as she had only just stood unsuccessfully to be President of the European Parliament, but she feels that twelve-and-a-half years of hectic Euro-political life is enough. Given the strain of all the travel and dealing with a massive Euro-constituency, one can easily understand that. It was assumed that in keeping with previous practice the seat would then pass automatically to the next person down on the LibDems’ 2009 regional list, Stewart Arnold, who happens to be Diana’s husband. Indeed, that is what was announced in last Friday’s edition of the weekly party newspaper Liberal Democrat News. But eyebrows were raised in some quarters and there were some pretty hard-hitting comments, not least from North West MEP Chris Davies, about how seemly it was for a husband to inherit his wife’s seat (despite the fact that he was well qualified, as he had been working for her in her office). Anyway, after due consideration, Stewart Arnold declined the seat, which meant that it was offered to the third person on the list, Rebecca Taylor, instead. Though Yorkshire born and with strong family links to the region — she also stood for Rotheram in the 2010 General Election — Rebecca has carved a career out for herself in London, so not surprisingly she had to give the matter some consideration before deciding what to do. However, she has now agreed to take on the responsibility — and brilliant opportunity, I might add. She is being thrown in the deep end at age 36, but it will do no harm to the British LibDem group in the Parliament to have an energetic new person in their ranks.