THE LIBERAL Democrats has officially opened nominations for its next leader.

The party has been under acting leader Ed Davey since the General Election, when Jo Swinson infamously lost her seat and resigned as party boss.

A review published earlier this year on the party's miserable performance at the December election stated that Ms Swinson had been told by advisors to stop saying she was going to be the next Prime Minister, but ignored their advice.

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The 61-page document stated that party officials ignored tried and tested campaign slogans, and added: “The same is true of the evidence around the message that Jo Swinson was going to be prime minister. "That message, whether fairly or unfairly, went down very badly, a fact that was picked up reasonably quickly in the polling and on the doorstep, and yet it was still being used weeks later.”

A senior party employee told the report authors: “It took us the best part of five days to stop [Jo] saying it in press interviews.”

Ms Swinson stood down following the humiliating performance of 2019, during which she lost her seat to new SNP MP Amy Callaghan.

Now the party is looking for a new leader, with two candidates currently standing - Layla Moran MP running against acting leader Ed Davey.

Currently Ms Moran has two MP nominations, while Mr Davey has one.

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine previously said she was planning to run for leader, however later said the coronavirus pandemic had made her re-evaluate and decided not to.

Candidates must be an MP and be proposed by at least 10% of other members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons.

They must also be supported by at least 200 individual members from 20 local parties.

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Only Lib Dem members who are registered by July 9 can vote.

In order to vote in the contest, you must be a Party member at the close of nominations on the 9th July. The ballot will then open on the 30th July and close on the 26th August, after which the leader will be announced.

Liberal Democrat Party President Mark Pack said:“The sad state of our Government today shows how desperately the country needs a vision of an outward-looking, caring country that celebrates diversity and benefits from high-quality public services.

“With Liberal Democrat membership at record levels, I urge everyone else who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election.”