Lib Dems seek leader after Jo Swinson loss
The UK's Liberal Democrats have appointed the party's deputy leader Sir Ed Davey and president Baroness Sal Brinton as joint leaders after Jo Swinson's election defeat.
A leadership election will take place in the new year, the party announced on Friday, after a damaging night that saw its leader lose her seat to the Scottish National Party.
Swinson said the result was "hugely disappointing" in her seat and across the country as Boris Johnson romped to victory with a comfortable Conservative majority.
She said in a statement released just hours after her defeat: "I am proud that in this campaign, the Liberal Democrats have stood up for openness, generosity and hope. We were honest about what we believe in and what we were trying to achieve.
"This is clearly a setback for liberal values. But there are millions of people across the country who believe in them. By coming together to fight for them, we can create a positive future."
Baroness Brinton said: "In the weeks ahead we will elect a new leader and our party will continue to be the rallying point for anyone who believes in a country where everyone has the chance to get on in life."
Under the party's constitution, the leader must be an MP so Swinson ceased to be leader when she lost her seat.
The party's staunchly Remain stance failed to gain traction with the electorate and a number of the party's leading lights paid a heavy price as they lost their bids to win seats.
The party won only 11 seats. Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Luciana Berger and Sam Gyimah were among prominent figures who will not be returning to Westminster, along with Swinson.
She lost her Dunbartonshire East constituency to the SNP's Amy Callaghan, who won by just 149 votes.
In a speech after the result was announced, Swinson said: "Let me say now, for millions of people in our country these results will bring dread and dismay and people are looking for hope."
Less than an hour earlier, it had been announced that Umunna, who had been tipped as a future Lib Dem leader, would not become MP for Westminster.
He was standing in the constituency having moved from his previous seat of Streatham.
Originally a Labour MP who stood for the party leadership in 2015, Umunna pulled out of the race due to increased scrutiny of his family.
In February, he defected to become a founding member of the Independent Group, before joining the Lib Dems in the summer.
© AAP 2019