Martin Daubney, former Brexit Party MEP, has hit out at Sir Ed for using the platform to “appeal to Brexit voters” after spending the past four years campaigning to overturn the result of the 2016 EU referendum. The former MEP for the West Midlands, wrote on Twitter: “After spending years crying ‘b*****ks’ to Brexit’ Ed Davey just ludicrously claimed he hopes to appeal to Brexit voters.
“There’s more chance of me flying to the Moon.”
During the campaign trail for the leadership of the party, Sir Ed reiterated his desire for Britain to re-join the European Union and insisted he would be at the “forefront” of the argument for it.
He told Politico: “I’ll always believe our best place is in the EU, but our job now is to convince the country of that.
“If the opportunity ever arises for us to re-join, and we can take the public with us, I’ll be at the frontline of that fight.”
After securing a convincing victory over his rival Layla Moran on Thursday afternoon, Sir Ed acknowledged the Lib Dems had “lost touch” with voters.
The Kingston and Surbiton MP urged the party to “wake up and smell the coffee” following a series of humbling general election results.
The 54-year-old said: “We have to wake up and smell the coffee.
“Nationally our party has lost touch with too many voters.
“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.
“But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.
“The truth is, voters don’t believe the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life.
“Voters don’t believe we share their values. And voters don’t believe we are on the side of people like them.”
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The former cabinet minister had been acting-leader since Jo Swinson lost her seat in the December election.
Sir Ed becomes the fifth leader of the party since Nick Clegg took the Lib Dems into Government with David Cameron in 2015.
Now, the party is just only the fourth biggest in the House of Commons, with 11 MPs.