Ed Davey secures key backing to boost his chances in Liberal Democrat leadership contest

Exclusive: Munira Wilson becomes third party MP to back acting leader for job

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Saturday 27 June 2020 15:07
Ed Davey is the favourite to win the Lib Dem leadership
Ed Davey is the favourite to win the Lib Dem leadership

Supporters of Ed Davey’s bid for the full leadership of the Liberal Democrats were celebrating what they claimed as a significant moment in his campaign as he secured the endorsement of Twickenham MP Munira Wilson.

Wilson’s declaration of support means that the party’s acting leader has the backing of a clean sweep of the party’s senior elected representatives in London, including all three MPs - including himself - all three recent MEPs and the sole serving London Assembly member, along with mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.

With a significant chunk of the party’s membership concentrated in the capital, sources close to Davey believe the endorsements may give him an edge over rival Layla Moran.

Health spokesperson Ms Wilson joins Sarah Olney and Christine Jardine to become the third Lib Dem MP to endorse the former energy secretary. Ms Moran has the support of Jamie Stone and Wera Hobhouse, who withdraw from the leadership race to give the Oxford West and Abingdon MP her backing.

Leadership rules require candidates to obtain the nomination of at least one other MP and 200 members drawn from at least 20 constituency parties, and both contenders have easily cleared this hurdle well ahead of the 9 July deadline.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Davey said he was “thrilled” to have the backing of Ms Wilson, who said she believed he had the “experience, vision and judgement” needed to help the party “rebuild and win from the centre-left” in the same way that Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown did.

“The party needs to tackle the big challenges that we face, both as a party and as a country,” said Ms Wilson. “Our election review was clear, we need to show people what Liberal Democrats stand for, and I believe Ed's vision of a greener, fairer and more caring society is one that we can use to rebuild the party.”

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