Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, comments after the European elections: "Last night, the British people finished voting in the European elections. The fallout is there for all to see, with the Prime Minister finally conceding this morning that she has reached the end of the road.
Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit. When the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well.
I want to thank the volunteers who have made that possible. I was very touched while campaigning around the country by the enthusiasm and optimism of our members and supporters.
I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.
Many who kept going through difficult years for the party are now enjoying our resurgence as a major national force.
Our long and proud tradition of success in local government was revived this month by the best local election results in our party’s history. In the last two years, we've gained 780 more council seats and 15 new councils.
And membership is at record levels with a strengthening base of supporters amongst students and young people.
Together, we have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats. I couldn't be more grateful.
I said earlier this year that the time would soon come to hand over the leadership of the party to a new generation. That process begins today: I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.
At our spring conference this weekend, members will have the chance to make that contest the biggest and most open leadership election British politics has ever seen. It’s a real opportunity for our party to seize the radical and liberal centre of British politics.
We can and should invite hundreds of thousands of new supporters in, with the chance for us to choose a new leader together.
It has been my great privilege to lead the Liberal Democrats at this crucial time. I inherited the leadership after two difficult and disappointing General Elections. But I take pride in seeing the party recovering strongly, with last year’s local election results the best in 15 years, record membership and a central role in the People’s Vote campaign.
And long after my period as your Leader ceases, I will continue to work with you and my successor to make sure the Liberal Democrats are at the centre of Britain’s rapidly changing politics. By building a movement of voters who share our values, we can help rescue the country from a profound political crisis and give hope of a better future.
If you want a say in choosing my successor, join the Liberal Democrats by the 7th June. Membership starts at as little as £1:
Or, if you're already a member, take a minute to ask your friends and family to join us:
There are major challenges ahead. One is to win, finally, the battle to stop Brexit. Our campaigning has given hope; now we need to secure a referendum in Parliament, and then win it.
Another is the opportunity created by the conflict and decay within the two main parties to build a powerful, liberal, green, and social democratic force in the centre ground of British politics. We are now in an excellent position to lead such a movement.
As we do so, I am confident that we will regain ground at Westminster, with a big group of MPs and more influence on the national stage.
Thank you, as ever, for your support over the last two years.