Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, today launched his bid for the role of deputy leader of the party. He also admitted to Sky News today that there were “risks” to the new coalition government.

Mr Hughes said he believed it was important that someone who was not in goverment took the role. He said: “We have the leadership of Nick [Clegg] in parliament… and I can give the Lib Dems the guarantee that every member of the party will feed into government.”

Mr Hughes added that he was a campaigner for progressive politics and that he’d always been ready to stand up on issues that distinguished the party from others. He added that he hoped Mr Clegg would publicly back him and that “You can’t get everything you want in a coalition, but long term we want to be the replacement for Labour as the centre-left alternative to the Conservative Party.”

The Liberal Democrats have been staunch and outspoken supporters of gay rights and gay marriage. Party leader Nick Clegg has said: “Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same, too. All couples should be able to make that commitment to one another.”

Mr Hughes was forced to come out as bisexual during his bid for leadership of the Liberal Democrats in 2006.