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By Tobias Ellwood
By Ben Guerin
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Ed Davey crowned new Liberal Democrat leader after decisive victory over Layla Moran

Ed Davey has been elected as the next Lib Dem leader

2 min read

Sir Ed Davey has been selected as the new Liberal Democrat leader after winning a decisive victory over fellow MP Layla Moran.

The party's acting leader secured 42,756 votes compared to 24,564 votes for his rival.

The contest, which was initially set to be held in 2021 before the decision was overturned by party bosses, was conducted almost entirely online due to social distancing restrictions.

Sir Ed, a former coalition cabinet minister, is the first permanent leader since Jo Swinson stepped down in December after losing her East Dumbartonshire seat in the 2019 election.

Speaking after the results were announced, Sir Ed said the Lib Dems had to "wake up and smell the coffee" about the party's challenges.

"To the members of the Lib Dems, thank you for putting your faith in me and giving me the honour of leading a party I joined 30 years ago," he added.

"Nationally our party has lost touch with too many voters. Yes, we are powerful advocates locally, our campaigners listen to local people, work had 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. Voters don't believe we share their values, and voters don't believe we are on the side of people like them."

He added: "Nationally, voters have been sending us a message, but we have not been listening.

"It is time for us to start listening. As leader I am telling you, I have got that message. I am listening now."

The Kingston and Surbiton MP had promised members he would use his years of Commons and government experience to help rebuild the party, which currently holds just 11 Westminster seats.

Ms Moran, the party's education spokesperson, had instead offered a "more radical" approach, aimed at winning the support of younger voters.

Speaking ahead of the result, the Oxford West and Abingdon MP said: "I am immensely proud of the positive and hopeful campaign my team have run, and I have sent my heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who helped me.

"Both Ed and I have committed to implement the general election review and improve diversity in our party."

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