UK Politics

Tim Farron is new Lib Dem leader

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Media captionTim Farron MP: "We may not be able to change Britain from the top down - just for the moment - but we can change lives from the bottom up"

Tim Farron is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, the party has announced.

The former party president beat Norman Lamb in the contest to replace Nick Clegg, with 56.5% of the votes cast.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, whose victory was announced on Twitter, is to make his first public appearance as leader at a central London rally later.

"Our job now is to turn millions of liberals throughout the UK into Liberal Democrats", he tweeted.

Mr Lamb, a care minister in the coalition government, offered his congratulations, saying Mr Farron would make a "fantastic" leader who championed social justice.

Mr Clegg tweeted: "It's a tough job but the best in politics. I know Tim will do us proud."

The new leader's immediate task is to rebuild the Lib Dems after a disastrous general election that left the party with just eight MPs.

Who is Tim Farron?

Image copyright Getty Images
  • The Newcastle University graduate joined the Liberal Party aged 16
  • He stood for Parliament four times before finally being elected in 2005
  • He has increased his majority from under 300 to more nearly 9,000 in the past 10 years
  • He voted against a rise in tuition fees in 2011
  • He did not serve in the coalition and was party president between 2011 and 2014
  • His heroes are Jo Grimond, Joe Strummer and CS Lewis

The Tim Farron story

Challenge facing the new Lib Dem leader

The Lib Dems said 56% of members took part. A total of 33,897 votes were cast, with Mr Farron winning 19,137 of them.

Mr Farron, 45, is popular with activists and was the bookies' favourite to replace Mr Clegg.

But former leader Lord Ashdown and former deputy leader Vince Cable have recently criticised him.

Party president Sal Brinton said: "Tim is a fantastic communicator and his energy, enthusiasm and passion will inspire and drive the Liberal Democrats back to winning ways."

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