MP for Kingston and Surbiton Sir Ed Davey has won the election to become the leader of the Liberal Democrats. The previously acting leader and formed coalition cabinet member will now take on his role on a permanent basis.
Sir Davey beat out Layla Moran, current MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, securing 63.5% of the vote compared to her 36.5%. Ms. Moran congratulated her opponent on Twitter, thanking her campaign team and stating that she would “look forward to working with him to campaign for a better future for Britain.”
This comes after previous leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in the 2019 general election. The election was initially postponed to May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was since brought forward to August 2020.
In his acceptance speech, Davey urged the Liberal Democrats to “wake up and smell the coffee” and states that his job was to “rebuild the Lib Dems to national relevance.” He reiterated this in an email to party members, and also stated that “My friend Layla Moran, ran a passionate campaign. Her energy has inspired many people and I look forward to her playing a big role in my team.” Davey has become the party’s fourth leader in five years after a series of poor general election performances.
During her campaign, Ms. Moran emphasised investment in education, support for a Universal Basic Income, the environmental crisis, and electoral reform, amongst other issues. In her role as chair of the all party parliamentary group on coronavirus, Moran also called for the UK to use a “zero-COVID” strategy to save lives, including screening on public transport and in supermarkets.
In a recent Facebook statement, the Oxford University Liberal Democrats congratulated Sir Davey on his election as leader, thanking both candidates for their “exemplary campaigns” and “good conduct” throughout the process. They also stated that they look forward to continuing to campaign with Ms. Moran here in Oxford.
Ms. Layla Moran’s office has been contacted for comment.
Image courtesy of Oxford Liberal Democrats.