Ed Davey named new Liberal Democrats leader

PUBLISHED: 11:47 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 27 August 2020

Sir Ed Davey speaking during the Liberal Democrats autumn conference. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.

Sir Ed Davey speaking during the Liberal Democrats autumn conference. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Ed Davey has been elected as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the party has announced.

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Sir Ed Davey beat contender Layla Moran - a relatively new MP to the Commons who won her seat in 2017 - following several months of campaigning.

He defeated Moran to win the leadership by 42,756 votes to 24,564.

Sir Ed acknowledged he now has to turn the party around after “three disappointing general election results”.

He said: “We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Nationally our party has lost touch with too many voters.

“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.

“But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.

“The truth is: voters don’t believe the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life.”

Liberal Democrat MPs Christine Jardine and Daisy Cooper were among those to congratulate the new leader.

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Jardine tweeted: “Congratulations to my@friend @EdwardJDavey the new leader of the @LibDems after fantastic campaign. The hard work starts now.”

Cooper posted: “Big congrats to @EdwardJDavey on becoming the next @LibDems Leader, & commiserations to @LaylaMoran. Both championed a Universal Basic Income & urgency of tackling climate emergency. I look forward to working w/ them both to push for a more open liberal Britain.”

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted: “Congratulations to new Libdem leader ?@EdwardJDavey? - look forward to working together & with all opposition parties to hold this appalling government to account & to reform our archaic undemocratic electoral system for good.”

Moran thanked her team and supporters and said she looked forward to working with Sir Ed in the future.

Sir Ed, the MP for Kingston and Surbiton, is an experienced politician and former minister who first entered the Commons in 1997.

He was a business minister under former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during the coalition years, and then moved to secretary of state for energy and climate change in 2012, promoting green energy policies.

Sir Ed has temporarily co-led the party with Lib Dem peer Baroness Sal Brinton since former leader Jo Swinson stepped down in 2019.

Moran ran on the platform that she could offer the party a new start after numerous disappointing election results between 2010 and 2015.

Before politics, Moran was a maths and physics teacher and is currently the Liberal Democrats’ spokeswoman for education.

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