A heartbroken Nick Clegg left the room in tears after addressing the country’s media and resigning as leader of the Liberal Democrats following a ‘catastrophic’ night of results in the general election.
On a night that he described as the ‘most crushing blow’ to the Liberal Democrats since their foundation his party are set to end up with only eight MPs, down from 57 in 2010.
However Clegg had some personal success as he regained his Sheffield Hallam seat with 40% of the vote, but he was clearly emotional when he spoke this lunch-time.
He said: “Clearly, the results have been immeasurably more and unkind than I could ever have feared.
“For that I must take responsibility and therefore I announce that I will be resigning as the leader of the Liberal Democrats.”
It is expected that the party will have lost £168,000 by the end of election after failing to maintain their election deposit, enough to put 36 students through university on the current fees.
In south west London they lost their deposits in Mitcham & Morden, Battersea, Tooting, Croydon North and Croydon Central.
The Lib Dems lost 47 seats overall, including three former cabinet ministers in the form of Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander.
“It is simply heart-breaking to see so many friends and colleagues who have served their constituencies so diligently over so many years lose their seats because of forces entirely beyond their control,” Clegg said.
The former deputy Prime Minister added: “To serve my country at a time of crisis is an honour that will stay with me forever.
“We will never know how many lives we have changed for the better because we had the courage to step up at a time of crisis.
“We have done something that cannot be undone because there can be no doubt we leave the government of Britain a stronger fairer, greener and more liberal country than it was five years ago.”
“This is a very dark hour for our party be we cannot and will not allow decent liberal values to be distinguished overnight, our party will come back and our party will win again.”
Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks