Liberal Democrat education spokesman Don Foster has quit the party's leadership race after securing assurances from front-runner Charles Kennedy that he would consider collaboraton with the Labour Party.
On Monday, Bath MP Mr Foster announced that he had left the contest to replace Paddy Ashdown as leader. He switched his support to Mr Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Inverness West), who he said had given assurances on working with Labour.
Mr Foster had styled himself as Mr Ashdown's natural successor in that he would develop the Labour links. He said he was interested in other portfolios but would be happy to continue as education spokesman.