Midlands Lib Dems say 'yes we matter '

The sun is shining in Brighton and spirits are high. The Liberal Democrats could be accused of being in denial as their annual conference gets underway in Brighton.

The number of MPs at Westminster has been reduced to just eight - not a single MP from the Midlands.

Among those looking positively to the future is Baroness Burt of Solihull. She is the party's spokesperson on Business and Innovation in the House of Lords.

She says the time is ripe for all liberals to occupy the ever widening centre ground.

But how exactly might that happen ? A question I put to her in Brighton today:

So while she steers clear of calling for a breakaway party to be formed Baroness Burt is aware of the need for her own party to regroup and rise again.

But just how relevant is the Lib Dem brand in the Midlands, given that voters at the last General Election rejected the offer and supported Conservatives and Labour?

Among those keen to scotch the idea of irrelevance is Leicestershire County Councillor Michael Mullaney:

This afternoon the government's call for new grammar schools will be debated by delegates on the floor of the conference.

Tomorrow it's the green economy.

The liberal democrats may have a mountain to climb but they plan to enjoy the ride!