The BBC’s Political Editor writes in his Blog:
It was – people say – Westminster’s worst kept secret. I refer, of course, to Charles Kennedy’s drinking.
The implication, therefore, is that we political reporters conspired to keep it that way – a secret. Hold on a second. Not so fast. There is a big, big difference between knowing that Charles Kennedy drank a lot and knowing that he had a drink problem and was undergoing treatment.
I knew the first but certainly did not know the second. The same is true of all the political reporters I know and all but Charles Kennedy’s closest circle. I knew that Mr Kennedy sometimes drank more than he should. I could see that for myself and I heard it from those who worked closely with him.