Alistair Carmichael rules out leadership bid

SCOTTISH Secretary Alistair Carmichael appears to have ruled out a future bid to become leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael MP. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Orkney and Shetland MP had been considered as a contender to replace Nick Clegg whenever he steps down.

Polling suggests the Lib Dems could lose many of their seats across the UK in May’s general election.

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Mr Carmichael’s seat is considered to be one of the party’s safest.

Asked by the Press and Journal newspaper if he would like to be party leader, Mr Carmichael said: “No. There’s no vacancy and I have the constituency that is furthest away from London.

“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.”

Mr Carmichael, who replaced Michael Moore as Scottish Secretary in October 2013, did not rule out continuing to have a role in the Scotland Office if the Lib Dems enter another coalition after the May vote.

“Who has a job anywhere is a job for the PM and DPM, that’s well above my pay grade,” he told the newspaper.

“I have loved every second of being a minister but I’ve loved every second of being an MP.”