We wake this morning to a double blow. A Conservative majority Government, hell-bent on pushing Brexit through, and the loss of our Leader, Jo Swinson from Parliament.
First, let me pay tribute to Jo. Her declaration speech in the early hours of this morning moved us all. Focusing on the future of our country and, importantly, standing by our principles and values as a Party. She will make a formal statement later today.
Parliament and our party will sorely miss her determination, passion and talent.
If you are wondering what happens now, Ed Davey will act as temporary Leader in the Commons and our Party President, Sal Brinton will help fulfil the other functions of Leader for the wider Party. Together they will jointly assume the Leadership functions of the party.
There are some wonderful gains amongst the shocking loss. Seeing talented people like Munira Wilson, Wendy Chamberlain and Daisy Cooper win, and Sarah Olney retake her seat – is something from which we can collectively draw strength.
We have achieved astonishing rises in vote share in places like Esher and Walton, Wimbledon, South Cambridgeshire and so many more. There is much we can build on from here, and we will be careful to learn the lessons to build for the future.
As I write, there are still some results yet to come in, so we will send you another update later.
Britain still needs the Liberal Democrats, today more than ever.
Thank you for everything that you have done during the course of this campaign and for the cause of Remain.