I went to see Charles in his office. 'I think it's in the interests of yourself, your family and the Party that you should now step down.' I said. 'I don't think we can go on as we are. It's not tolerable. I tried to find an elegant way out for him. : 'You can say you've led the Party to its best General Election results since the Twenties. You've got new family responsibilities. You've got a wonderful wife and a beautiful son. You want to spend as much time with them as you can. You're leaving the party a legacy of achievement of which you're proud. All this is true.'
At this point Ming took an onion out of his pocket...
Charles listened intently. 'Ming, we've always been friends,' he said. 'I value your advice but you'll understand that I'll need to talk to Sarah. I've listened very carefully to what you've had to say.' He came out from behind his desk, shook my hand and said: 'Thank you for being so frank. We've had a long friendship. It's survived this long and I hope it'll survive all of this.'
Now I hope I am not being unduly cynical when I say that this sounds very much like the conversation Ming would LIKE to have had. I suspect Charles Kennedy's recollections may be a little different.
You can buy Ming's Memoirs HERE.