Liberal Democrats to elect new leader in July

Bonnie Christian
PA Wire/PA Images

The Liberal Democrats will elect a new leader in July, the party has announced.

The move comes after a poor general election showing in December saw ex-leader Jo Swinson lose her East Dunbartonshire seat.

The Lib Dems’ federal board hashed out an timtable for the contest on Saturday, announcing that nominations for candidates would open on May 11 and close on May 28.

The ballot for the party’s new leader will start on June 18 and conclude on July 15.

More than 100,000 members will be eligible to take part in the selection process, the party has said.

Sir Ed Davey has previously not ruled out running for leader (PA)

Ex-cabinet minister Sir Ed Davey and party president Mark Pack will continue as joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats until the election process is completed.

Mr Pack said: “I want first to thank Jo Swinson for her determined leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

“With our party membership at record levels, I urge everyone else who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election.”

Sir Ed has previously said that the Lib Dems made mistakes in last year's election campaign, adding that the Brexit issue "inevitably clouded out all the many things that we stand for".

The party had fiercely campaigned to remain in the EU, pledging to revoke Article 50 if they were elected into power.

Asked about the party's future, Sir Ed said: "I think we need to bring liberalism to life for people, by proving for example our passion for social justice."

And on whether he wouldrun for leader, he said: "I've got a job to do as acting leader, I'm going to do that."

He added: "Let me help you: I'm not ruling it out."

Read more

Peer warns post-Brexit Britain could be 'reminiscent' of Nazi Germany