"Many congratulations to Jo Swinson on her election as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats, the fastest growing party in the UK.
"Jo will be a fabulous leader who builds on the LibDems' resurgence, finally bringing an end to the Brexit fiasco with a People’s Vote and championing liberal values, such as fairness and a free, strong economy and society, to build a better Britain. Jo is already broadening our appeal as hundreds flocked to join the LibDems in the first hour after her rousing acceptance speech.
"We were fortunate to have two excellent leadership candidates, who, unlike the divisive Tory leadership campaign and the chaotic backbiting in the Labour Party, both ran spirited, outward looking and positive campaigns. Jo, like Ed Davey her competitor for the Leadership, would give our country so much more than the Johnson-Farage show.
"I'd like to also pay tribute to Vince Cable, who was kind enough to visit Taunton last week in one of his last engagements as LibDem Leader. Under his leadership the party's fortunes have been transformed, with the best ever local election results in its history. He was hugely impressed with the great work being done to stop fracking and to set out a planet positive future for our area by the new LibDem-led Somerset West and Taunton Council and our grassroots members.
"We are a party whose priorities are in tune with the country’s - whether it’s putting the environment first or stabilising our economy so we can restore support to schools and defend key public services. This includes our campaigns to save the Royal Marines at Norton Manor and to combat proposed Fire Service cuts, plus our pledge of 1p on the rate of tax, which will provide a real solution to health and social care problems. Unlike the narrow-minded nationalism and extremism of other parties, we have a positive agenda for change and, under Jo's energetic leadership, I eagerly look forward to the opportunity to represent the interests of the people of Taunton Deane at the next general election."