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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 21:39 GMT
In Quotes: Reaction to result
Here is a round-up of reaction to Nick Clegg winning the Lib Dem leadership contest:

NICK CLEGG, NEW LEADER

I believe that liberalism is the thread that holds together everything that this country stands for. Pull out that thread and the fabric of our nation unravels. Above all our politics is broken, out of touch with people, out of touch with the modern world, and that is why I have one simple ambition, to change Britain, to make it the liberal country I believe the British people want it to be.

CHRIS HUHNE, LOSING CANDIDATE

I'm also in no doubt at all that this is a great occasion for the Liberal Democrats. That Nick is going to be a great leader of the Liberal Democrats, that he has an enormous amount of warmth, or energy and intelligence to bring to this job. And that we have, ahead of us, great successes, and that I look forward to participating as part of Nick's team, in making sure the party goes from strength to strength.

FORMER LEADER SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL

The torch has passed to a new political generation in the Liberal Democrats. These two, after all, only came into the House of Commons in 2005. They're a new, young generation. They both have an enormous part to play in the future of the party and there's no doubt that Nick Clegg has demonstrated that he's got the ambition to take the party forward...I think the party should understand this is not going to be a quiet time - it's going to be a very vigorous time.

CAROLINE SPELMAN, CONSERVATIVE CHAIRMAN

We congratulate Nick Clegg on becoming the latest leader of the Liberal Democrats. We hope that the Liberal Democrats under Mr Clegg will join us in putting pressure on the government to devolve power to local authorities, communities and individuals; in our opposition to ID cards; and in our commitment to social justice and environmental progress. We hope that together we can create a new progressive alliance to decentralise British politics.

FORMER LEADER CHARLES KENNEDY

I think that, you know, barring acts of God, this will be our last leadership contest for a very long time. I certainly hope so anyway. And you know, I think we've now got fresh faces, a fresh start, and that's good news.

ANDREW DUFF, LIB DEM MEP LEADER

Nick Clegg promises to be a brilliant leader of the party. His first big electoral contest may well be the European parliamentary campaign in June 2009. Here his own record as an MEP will ensure that, for the first time, the Liberal Democrats will fight with self-confidence on European issues. Under Clegg's leadership, the Lib Dems must connect British political opinion to the EU dimension, and vice versa.

LYNNE FEATHERSTONE, HUHNE CAMPAIGN BOSS

I suspect that Nick found winning much harder than he expected at the start of the campaign, but if he has come out of the campaign a tougher and more seasoned campaigner, then that is all to the good for the party and our future... He has got to deliver on the promises he made - to be anti-establishment and to deliver principled radicalism and to challenge the cosy consensus of the stagnant, old-fashioned, two-party politics further and faster. (from her newstatesman.com column)

FORMER LEADER LORD ASHDOWN

(It was) the best party leader's acceptance speech I have ever heard ... He gave the party direction. It will act as a jolt and a wake-up call for the party and will tell the country we are back in business with a new leader who can make it happen.

SIMON HUGHES, LIB DEM PRESIDENT

This was clearly a very close election and a very exciting election but, in the end, I am clear that Nick will make a really excellent and dynamic leader.

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