I was genuinely sorry to hear that Ming had resigned – a decent man, who had not stood for the Leadership of his Party in earlier years, and only stood when he believed his Party needed him, following Charles Kennedy’s sudden departure. Ming’s assessment of that need was born out by the subsequent leadership election.
His performance afterwards was exactly what anyone who had followed his career would expect – slightly nervous in the House, but speaking with authority. Calm, rather than rabble-rousing as a public speaker. Cautious as a policy maker; good at spotting younger talent and giving it a chance; excellent company.
Whether the LibDems will do better under anyone else remains to be seen – for the first time for some 20 years, the LibDem leader will probably have to do without Ming’s services on the front bench.