Uncategorized Liberal Democrat leader resigns after ‘catastrophic’ UK election

Liberal Democrat leader resigns after ‘catastrophic’ UK election

Britain's Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg
Britain’s Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg

 (AA) – Nick Clegg has quit as leader of the centrist Liberal Democrats Party after it suffered “catastrophic” losses in the U.K. general election.

His resignation Friday came after the Liberal Democrats suffered an electoral wipeout, losing 49 of the 57 seats it had won in 2010.

Describing the election as a “most crushing blow to the Liberal Democrats”, he told party supporters in his resignation speech: “To serve my country at a time of crisis is an honour that will stay with me forever.

“Fear and grievance have won. Liberalism has lost.”

He added: “This is a very dark hour for our party, but we cannot and will not allow decent liberal values to be extinguished overnight.

“If our losses today are part-payment for every family that is more secure because of a job we helped create, every person with depression who is treated with the compassion they deserve, every child who does a little better in school, every apprentice with a long and rewarding career to look forward to, every gay couple who know their love is worth no less than everyone else’s, and every pensioner with a little more freedom and dignity in retirement, then I hope our losses can be endured with a little selfless dignity.”

The Liberal Democrats now have only eight MPs left in parliament.

Senior Liberal Democrat government ministers Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, Danny Alexander, David Laws and Ed Davy — all long-standing MPs — lost their seats in the poll.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy lost his seat to the Scottish National Party, which won 56 of the 59 available seats in Scotland.

The Liberal Democrats had entered a coalition with the center-right Conservative Party in 2010 after elections in the same year ended in a hung parliament.

Their decision provoked fury within their supporters’ ranks as they had run on a left-of-Labour platform. 

They also pledged to abolish university tuition fees — only to backtrack and triple them once in power, decimating their support among students.

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