Sir Menzies Campbell is the leader of the British Liberal Democratics with the January 7, 2006 resignation of Charles Kennedy after disclosure of a drinking problem and demands for resignation by some Liberal Democrat Party Members of Parliament. A YouGov poll of party Liberal Democratic Party members for The Daily Telegraph on January 9, 2006 gave him 49% support compared with 21% for his closest rival, Simon Hughes, 54, the serving party president. Another possible candidate is Mark Oaten, the party's home affairs spokesman, who recived 13% in the same poll. A separate Daily Telegraph survey of 44 of the 62 Liberal Democratic Party Members of Parliament revealed that he had 22 supporters, including Matthew Taylor, the former parliamentary chairman.
Opponents of Menzies Campbell becoming party leader have dubbed him "Ming the Merciless" for his failure to support Charles Kennedy.