Andrew Pierce just asked Lynne Featherstone why no there are no black Lib Dem MP's and the answer came back:
"We don't have any safe seats where you can just place people, you have to earn your spurs in the Lib Dems."
What would Jimmy Macintyre make of that?
Indeed. I think Lynne Featherstone is being slightly disingenuous. There are indeed LibDem held seats which could select BME candidates. The trouble is that the LibDems have made little effort to encourage a more diverse range of candidates in LibDem held or marginal seats. She is also insinuating that the other parties have just placed candidates in seats as tokens. As she well knows, in the Conservative Party it doesn't work like that. Adam Afriyie, Shailesh Vara, Priti Patel and dozens of others are testament to that. They all won their selections on merit, not through any preferential treatment.
The LibDems have never elected an ethnic minority MP at a general election. Their only MP was the short lived Parmjit Gill who won the Leicester South by election in 2004 but lost it at the ensuing general election.
UPDATE: LibDem Blogger Jonathan Fryer rather makes my point for me in THIS post which is titled WHY IS THE LIBDEM CONFERENCE SO HIDEOUSLY WHITE?