Sir Ming wins Lib Dem leadership contest

Ming Campbell has won the Liberal Democrat leadership election - but only narrowly beat one-term MP Chris Huhne.

Menzies Campbell has won the Liberal Democrat leadership election.

The result of the ballot, called after Charles Kennedy resigned the party's top job, was announced today at a London press conference.

He beat second place candidate Chris Huhne by just 8000 votes, polling 29,967 to Mr Huhne's 21,628.

Party president Simon Hughes was knocked out in the first round of voting after polling just 12,081 votes.

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Sir Menzies said: “The Liberal Democrats are a party that embraces new ideas, that cherishes our principles, and that refuses to sacrifice our values for convenience.

“Tony Blair has squeezed values out of politics. Under New Labour, politics has become managerial and not inspirational.

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“David Cameron has taken the same course, shunning conviction and desperate only to copy the value-free managerialism of Mr Blair's Number 10.

“Britain does not need a third managerial party. It needs a distinctive liberal democratic party. I believe that a modern Liberal Democrat party is better placed than any other to understand and address the most pressing challenges of our time.”

Sir Menzies, 64, has been acting leader since Mr Kennedy quit after he was forced to confess to a drinking problem.

Mr Hughes' campaign was hit by allegations that he had lied about his sexuality, after denying he was gay only to say he was bisexual within hours.

Former home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten dropped out of the leadership contest following newspaper revelations that he had used gay prostitutes.

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