Last night, the British people finished voting in the European elections. The fallout is there for all to see, with the Prime Minister finally conceding this morning that she has reached the end of the road.
Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit. When the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well.
I want to thank the volunteers who have made that possible. I was very touched while campaigning around the country by the enthusiasm and optimism of our members and supporters.
I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.
Many who kept going through difficult years for the party are now enjoying our resurgence as a major national force.
Our long and proud tradition of success in local government was revived this month by the best local election results in our party’s history. In the last two years, we’ve gained 780 more council seats and 15 new councils.
And membership is at record levels with a strengthening base of supporters amongst students and young people.
Together, we have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats. I couldn’t be more grateful.
I said earlier this year that the time would soon come to hand over the leadership of the party to a new generation. That process begins today: I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.
If you want a say in choosing my successor, join the Liberal Democrats by the 7th June. Membership starts at as little as £1:
Or, if you’re already a member, take a minute to ask your friends and family to join us:
There are major challenges ahead. One is to win, finally, the battle to stop Brexit. Our campaigning has given hope; now we need to secure a referendum in Parliament, and then win it.
Another is the opportunity created by the conflict and decay within the two main parties to build a powerful, liberal, green, and social democratic force in the centre ground of British politics. We are now in an excellent position to lead such a movement.
As we do so, I am confident that we will regain ground at Westminster, with a big group of MPs and more influence on the national stage.
Thank you, as ever, for your support over the last two years.