Ed Davey beats Layla Moran to be next Lib Dem leader

Sir Ed Davey has won the Lib Dem leadership race, securing 63.5% of the vote to beat Oxford West and Abbindgon MP Layla Moran. Moran secured 36.5% of the vote. 

Davey had been acting leader following the resignation of former leader Jo Swinson eight months ago. Davey will now take over on a permanent basis. 

Davey told a London event that it is time for the Lib Dems to "wake up and smell the coffee" after slumping to a third successive disappointing result in last year's general election, securing only 12% of the vote.

He said it was "time for us to start listening" and to "rebuild the Liberal Democrats to national relevance".

Davey also tweeted that he is "so proud to lead the party that I love," continuing to say that he is "determined to rebuild our party, and fight for a greener, fairer and more caring society". 

Moran congratulated Davey, tweeting "I look forward to working with him to campaign for a better future for Britain." She continued "I am so proud of the positive, inclusive campaign we ran. I hope you’ll all join me in supporting [Sir Edward Davey] as our new leader."

Davey was first elected as an MP in 1997, but lost his seat of Kingston and Surbiton at the 2015 election when the party was decimated by David Cameron's Conservatives. He had served as Energy and Climate Change minister in the coalition government. He was re-elected in 2017, and was beaten in that year's leadership election by Jo Swinson. 

Davey joined the Lib Dems 30 years ago, and has been acting leader since Ms Swinson stepped down in December. He will now lead the party's 11 MPs and wider membership. It is yet to be seen how the party plans to re-build support after a disastrous five years, and how the party can navigate challenges now that the UK has left the EU - which drove a mini-resurgence in support before the 2019 election.