THE leader of the Liberal Democrats has quit her role as party chief after the shock loss of her seat by the narrowest of margins.

Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire constituency to the Scottish National Party by a margin of just 149 votes.

She has since announced she will be stepping down as Lib Dem leader with immediate effect.

A party statement released at 6.20am revealed that deputy leader Sir Ed Davey and president Sal Brinton will instead take over as joint interim leaders.

Ms Swinson said the result was "hugely disappointing" in her seat and across the country, as Boris Johnson romped to victory with a comfortable Conservative majority.

In a statement released just hours after her defeat, she added: "I am proud that in this campaign, the Liberal Democrats have stood up for openness, generosity and hope.

"We were honest about what we believe in and what we were trying to achieve.

"This is clearly a setback for liberal values. But there are millions of people across the country who believe in them. By coming together to fight for them, we can create a positive future."

The now-former Lib Dem leader started the election campaign talking up the possibility of becoming the country’s next prime minister.

But her unexpected defeat to Amy Callaghan of the SNP caps off a miserable night for both her and her party.

At the time of writing the Lib Dems have currently won 11 seats, one less than the 12 they claimed in 2017.

A number of constituencies, including nearby Winchester, were touted as possible Lib Dem gains but ended up being won by Conservative or SNP candidates.

While Mr Davey and Ms Brinton have been named joint interim leaders, the party has also announced that a leadership election will take place in the new year.