Tory plans to take control of the news agenda today with the relaunch (or re-hash) of their crime policies have been dealt a clever blow by Ming Campbell's decision to take on Gordon Brown over troop withdrawals from Iraq.
In what should have been a low news day, the Tories might have expected unobstructed top of the news headlines coverage all day with "Dave" doing his tour of the studios. Instead the main news story and the lead on the radio news has been "Gordon Brown rejects Lib Dem calls for immediate troop withdrawals from Iraq".
Ming and his team have sensibly brought up the issue of Iraq at just the right time, with increasing pressure on the government to withdraw from Iraq and silence from the Tories on the subject of the war (after all, they banged the drum in support of the war even louder than Labour did), it is as well to remind the general public that the Lib Dems were right on Iraq all along.
So well done Ming. Let's be wiser in the future too in making sure that the Tories are not given a free run at releasing news stories to a press that are desperate for news. We need to get the Lib Dem message across more effectively and today shows that it can be done, if the timing is right.