UK Politics

Lib Dem leadership: Runners and riders

The race is on to succeed Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrats - here is a rundown of the party's MPs.

Sir Vince Cable

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The twinkle-toed big beast of the Lib Dem jungle won back his Twickenham seat last Thursday. The former business secretary is a former Labour councillor who joined the Lib Dems via the SDP in the 1980s. A great advocate of cross-party working, the 74-year-old could take over as caretaker leader for a couple of years, according the BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith. If the parliament ran its full course, Mr Cable would be 79 at the time of the next election.

Norman Lamb

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Another former coalition minister, in the health department, who survived the cull of Lib Dem MPs in 2015, he unsuccessfully ran against Tim Farron for the party leadership two years ago. Seen as being on the economically liberal wing of the party. The 59-year-old North Norfolk MP has a support base among party members, who believe he would adopt a more "centrist" approach than Mr Farron and be less gung ho about opposing Brexit than the former leader. Is thought to be ready for another tilt at the top job.

Sir Ed Davey

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A former cabinet minister, who held the climate change brief in the coalition government, where he championed renewable energy and threatened to break up the "big six" suppliers. Sir Ed Davey is also thought likely to throw his hat into the ring. The 51-year-old won back his Kingston and Surbiton seat from his Tory opponent last week. He was a co-author of the 2004 Orange Book, which stressed the benefits of the free market in tackling social problems but divided opinion within the party.

Alistair Carmichael

He was Secretary of State for Scotland during the coalition years and survived the 2015 election as the only Lib Dem MP in Scotland, briefly taking charge of the party after Nick Clegg's resignation. After that campaign he had to apologise for the leaking of an inaccurate memo to a newspaper claiming Nicola Sturgeon preferred David Cameron as prime minister. He has been the MP for Orkney and Shetland since 2001.

Tom Brake

The longest-serving MP in the Lib Dems' south-west London powerbase, Tom Brake represented Carshalton and Wallington since 1997. The 55-year-old was deputy Commons leader in the coalition. Has ruled out himself out of party leadership contests in the past.

Stephen Lloyd

Won back Eastbourne for the Lib Dems after being unseated by the Conservative candidate in 2015. A former Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Davey, he is thought likely to concentrate on constituency issues rather than the party leadership, hence the very long odds on him at the bookies.

Wera Hobhouse

The German-born former teacher won the Lib Dem target seat of Bath at the general election with a passionately pro-European, anti-hard Brexit campaign.

Jamie Stone

The Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross MP was a long-serving local councillor in the Highlands, and a former member of the Scottish Parliament, before he became one of three Lib Dems to gain seats from the SNP at the general election.

Christine Jardine

The former journalist and university lecturer won the Lib Dem target seat of Edinburgh West at the general election. Like the other newly-elected Lib Dems she may feel it is little early to mount a leadership bid.

Layla Moran

Believed to be the first MP of Palestinian descent to be elected to the Commons, Layla Moran unseated former Tory frontbencher Nicola Blackwood in the Oxford seat of Abingdon West by just 816 votes.


Out of the running

Jo Swinson

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Despite being immediately installed as the bookies' favourite, Ms Swinson ruled herself out of the top job, saying she would seek to become deputy leader instead.

She was a junior equalities minister in the coalition government before being ejected from her East Dunbartonshire seat in the 2015 Lib Dem wipe out, winning it back at the general election with a majority of more than 5,000.

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