The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has decided to stand down at the next election. I realise that this will not be a popular view on here, but I think that’s a great shame. She has been an unflinchingly principled, honest and always thoughtful MP; in essence it is the nature of the coalition which has convinced her that modern politics is a foul and dispiriting business. There’s a case to be made that she’s in the wrong party, mind, but that’s the only real criticism I could level at her.
She’s been attacked for her decision in the Daily Mail by that screeching agglomeration of recycled opinions and epic self-regard, Janet Street Porter. She has, according to this harridan, ‘let the side down’, and should have been ‘tougher’. Street Porter ranks Teather alongside that fly-by-night flibbertigibbet Louise Mensch, thereby missing the point entirely. There is a difference between principle and weakness, Street-Porter. I suspect too that Teather – like similarly talented female politicians before her, of which Estelle Morris is just one – found the boy’s club of the House of Commons bombastic and repulsive and the wheeling and dealing an anathema.Tags: Liberal Democrats, Sarah Teather, UK politics