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He becomes the Lib Dems’ fifth leader in five years.

Sir Ed edged out Layla Moran in the battle to replace Jo Swinson, who dramatically lost her East Dunbartonshire seat in last December’s general election.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson announced: “There were 117,924 ballot papers issued, a record high for any of our leadership elections. Turnout was 57.6 percent.

“The votes for each candidate were: Ed Davey, 42,756, Layla Moran, 24, 564.

“And so Ed Davey has been elected the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.”

Making his acceptance speech, former coalition Government Cabinet minister Sir Ed said: “It is my love of this party that makes me recognise that we must change.

“We have to wake up and smell the coffee – nationally our party has lost touch with too many voters.

“At the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.

“The truth is, voters don’t believe that the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life.

“Voters don’t believe we share their values and voters don’t believe we are on the side of people like them.”

His appointment as the new Lib Dem leader comes after he sent a dire warning over Brexit to Boris Johnson earlier this year.

This is a breaking story. More to follow…

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