LONDON — Ed Davey has been elected leader of the U.K. Liberal Democrats, beating fellow MP Layla Moran and promising to take the party to “national relevance.”
Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, got 42,756 votes against 24,564 for Moran, the party announced Thursday. He succeeds Jo Swinson, who stepped down after the party’s disappointing result in the December 2019 general election when she failed to get re-elected.
In his acceptance speech, Davey said he would reach out to all voters, regardless of their position on Brexit.
“Whether you’re from the north, south, or somewhere in between, whether you voted for Brexit or Remain, or just wanted the whole thing settled, whether you voted Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, SNP or Plaid, my message for you is this: I will travel up and down our country to meet you,” Davey said.
He also recognized the party “has lost touch with too many voters” and must “face the fact of three disappointing general election results.”
“The truth is voters don’t believe the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life … nationally voters have been sending us a message, but we have not been listening,” he said. “It is time to start listening.”