LONDON: Sir Ed Davey has won the race to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. The acting leader will now take over on a permanent basis after beating his competitor, fellow MP Layla Moran. Sir Ed secured 63.5% of the vote, compared to 36.5% for Ms Moran.
At an event in London, Sir Ed said it was time for the party to “wake up and smell the coffee” after only securing 12% of the vote in the last general election. He said it was “time for us to start listening” and to “rebuild the Liberal Democrats to national relevance”.
The result comes eight months after the Lib Dem’s former leader, Jo Swinson, stepped down from the role after losing her seat in 2019 general election. Ms Moran congratulated her opponent on Twitter, saying: “I look forward to working with him to campaign for a better future for Britain.”
Sir Ed has been a member of the Liberal Democrats for 30 years, and acting leader since Ms Swinson stepped down in December. He was elected as an MP in 1997, but lost his seat of Kingston and Surbiton in 2015 after his tenure as a cabinet minister in the coalition government.
In the 2017 snap election, Sir Ed returned to Parliament for the same constituency and will now lead the party’s 11 MPs and wider membership.