As speculation continued about Emily Frith’s sudden decision to stand down as Lib Dem PPC for Hampstead & Kilburn, I thought perhaps someone ought to ask her a few questions. So, via e-mail, I did.
WHL: When were you offered this new government job?
Emily Frith: It was the weekend after the hustings [19th/20th January] I was asked to apply, having previously worked for the party on health policy
WHL: And when did you decide to take the job?
EF: Last Wednesday [February 13th]. I wanted to make sure I had spoken to the key people in the Lib Dems locally and to my current employers before making an announcement public.
WHL: What exactly is the position you’ve taken?
EF: A special adviser in Health and DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] issues.
WHL: What was your motivation?
EF: I’ve always wanted to do this job – it’s a dream job.
WHL: Do you see yourself standing as a PPC in the future?
EF: Absolutely – my experience in Hampstead & Kilburn made me realise I definitely want to do this in the future.
WHL: To what extent did the scale of the battle in H&K have a bearing on your decision to step down?
EF: None at all. The seat is extremely close and a key London seat for the party. They are a brilliant team of local activists and I was looking forward to moving up and joining the campaign.
Emily starts her new position on Monday. I wish her all the best. If she wants to stand as a PPC again, I suspect it’s unlikely to be in Hampstead & Kilburn.