Are the Lib Dems due a rebrand? Next leader favourite Tim Farron hints party could change name to just 'the Liberals'

Farron says the party needs a 'fresh start'

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Indy Politics

The Lib Dems are in turmoil after a disastrous general election and the resignation of their leader Nick Clegg – but could the front runner to replace him have come up with the way to turn things around?

Tim Farron, the bookies’ favourite to be named the party’s next leader, has hinted at a possible change of name from the Liberal Democrats to simply “the Liberals”.

He repeatedly used the term to describe to the party in an appearance on the BBC’s Today programme – and while it wouldn’t be the first time he’s done so, it has led to speculation that the party needs nothing short of a complete rebrand to improve its fortunes.

Mr Farron now numbers among just eight MPs for “the Liberals” in the House of Commons – down from almost 50 in the last parliament.

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats delivers a statement of his resignation at the ICA on 8 May 2015 in London, England.

And the former party president and foreign affairs spokesman told the BBC: “There’s only one thing we can do now, and that is turn our anger into action.

“Above all else [we must] create a sense of purpose and meaning behind the Liberals throughout the United Kingdom. There is a burning desire to make sure Britain’s liberal voice doesn’t just survive but thrives too.”

Writing in this paper over the weekend, Mr Farron said that he supported the decision to take the party into coalition with the Conservatives and that “history will be far kinder to Nick [Clegg]… than it feels today”.

But he also said it was time to “rebuild the party”, writing: “Now we must move on. We need a fresh start.”

So will that include a change of name? One Lib Dem source told The Telegraph: “The Liberal party has a long history and it is important to capitalise on that. We are the party of Gladstone, Lloyd George and Beveridge and we should be proud of that.”

Mixing up names was something of a theme from Mr Farron’s interview with the BBC. He said the election was won through “a very effective campaign run by the Scottish Nationalists and the English Nationalists, led by David Cameron”.