Lib Dem leadership race: Sir Ed Davey and Layla Moran on ballot as nominations close
Layla Moran and Ed Davey (Credit: PA)
Nominations for the Lib Dem leadership race have closed, with Sir Ed Davey and Layla Moran on the ballot.
The ex-coalition Cabinet minister and Oxford West MP will now go head-to-head to replace Jo Swinson, who lost her seat to the SNP at December's snap election.
Third candidate Wera Hobhouse backed out of the race in June, throwing her support behind Ms Moran.
The victor will be announced at the party's virtual conference in September. Voting for members will open on July 30 and close on August 26.
Party president Mark Pack said: “With two fantastic candidates, I am really excited for the contest for who will lead the Liberal Democrats and champion our vision for an outward-looking, caring country that celebrates diversity and benefits from the highest-quality public services.
“With Liberal Democrat membership at record levels, I urge everyone who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election.”
The final nominations show Ed Davey recieved 1870 votes from members across 343 local parties, with Layla Moran securing 1329 nominations from 330 local groups.
Speaking at the close of nominations, Sir Ed said the figures proved the "momentum is clearly" with his campaign.
“There is a long way to go, but the momentum is clearly with us. I’m delighted to have nearly 60% of nominations, and to have received the backing of so many people from across the party, including my colleagues in Parliament and Council Leaders across the UK.
“These are challenging times for our party and our country, and I believe that I have the experience, vision and judgement necessary to rise to those challenges. We need to elect more Liberal Democrats to town halls, Council chambers and Parliaments across the country.
He added: “We have to beat the Conservatives in the 80 seats where we are in second place to them, and to do that I want the Liberal Democrats to stand for a more caring, greener and fairer society.
"We should invest £150bn into green jobs to rebuild our economy and save our planet, and give a new deal to the millions of carers across the country. If I am elected, those are the values I will seek to promote.”
Meanwhile, speaking shortly before nominations closed, Ms Moran said she would lead a "comeback" if elected leader.
She said: "As leader of a revived party, with a focus on the economy, education and the environment that addresses the everyday concerns of voters up and down the country, we can start to win again.
"And that has never been more important."