Ed Davey has been elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats
Written by Gavin on 27th August 2020
Ed Davey has been elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems had been without a permanent leader since December’s general election, in which previous leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in the House of Commons.
The election was a huge disappointment for the Lib Dems, with the party winning just 11 seats – one seat down on their 2017 result.
This was despite high hopes – and impressive polling – for the anti-Brexit party ahead of the election campaign, at the start of which Ms Swinson declared herself to be a “candidate for prime minister”.
However, the Lib Dems struggled through the election campaign and an internal inquiry into the party’s performance – conducted after election night – likened their efforts to a “high-speed car crash”.
None of the former Labour or Conservative MPs who made high-profile defections to the Lib Dems ahead of the election kept their seats in the House of Commons.
The party’s new leader will now face a challenge in reviving the Lib Dems’ fortunes ahead of local elections; expected to be held next May following their postponement from this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recent opinion polling has consistently put the Lib Dems below 10% – massively behind the Conservatives and Labour.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said:
“I’m incredibly excited to start working with Ed as our new leader, I know he will help communicate our positive liberal message at a time when it’s needed more than ever.
“Ed is a friend of Wales understands our nation, our traditions and crucially devolution and the importance of the Senedd elections next year. With more and more people joining our party we have a renewed sense of optimism for the future, something in stark contrast to Boris’ bungled handling of the Covid-19 pandemic”
“Ed has championed the cause of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon which could generate renewable power for 150,000 homes as well as in recent weeks lead the campaign against the carers Covid bonus being taxed.
“We were incredibly lucky as a party to have had two excellent leadership candidates, and I know that Layla Moran will continue to play a key role within the party over the coming years, especially with regards to education and equality issues – two areas which are a real passion for her.
Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams added:
“I’ve known Ed for many years and he is liberal and compassionate to his core. He is a remarkable campaigner and a someone of the utmost integrity and conviction, who has run an energising and professional campaign. I look forward to working with him.”