UK Politics

Lib Dem conference: Brexit vote made us stronger - Farron

Tim Farron at a rally demonstrating against the vote to leave the EU Image copyright PA
Image caption Tim Farron has called for a second referendum on Brexit after the outcome of the deal negotiated by Mrs May

The Lib Dems are stronger and more relevant than ever in the wake of the Brexit vote, leader Tim Farron will say at the start of the party's conference.

He will claim his party, which has vowed to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU, is the only one speaking up for an "open, tolerant, united" country.

Amid splits in Labour over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, he will say his party will offer all liberals a "home".

Despite having only eight MPs, the party has seen its membership surge.

In full: Lib Dem 2016 conference agenda

Activists are to gather for the four-day event in Brighton, Mr Farron's second as party leader, with the party having attracted 10,000 new members since the EU referendum.

In an address to the start of the conference rally, Mr Farron will argue the Conservatives are already in disarray over how to deal with the Brexit vote, with open tensions between the prime minister and leading Leave figures in the cabinet such as Liam Fox and David Davis.

'Right place'

Amid the current turmoil in Labour, he will say the Lib Dems are ready to capitalise on the gap in the political spectrum for a party capable of offering a progressive, disciplined opposition to Theresa May.

He will say new UKIP leader Diane James leads a party whose policies are "based on a vision for Britain that is closed, hateful and divided".

And he will urge like-minded politicians in all parties to join the Lib Dems to make the case for a completely different view of the UK and its place in the world.

"This party stands stronger, large, determined, relevant, in the right place in the right space at the right time," he will say.

"Just when Britain needed a movement that will challenge this Tory Brexit government, just when liberals in other parties are desperate for a home where they can make a difference, the Liberal Democrats are back and we matter more than ever."

Mr Farron will give his traditional end-of-conference leader's address on Tuesday. On Saturday, activists will debate tackling homelessness and corporate corruption, among other issues.

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