Martin was elected by a secret ballot of party members attending a hustings meeting yesterday evening at Bournside School in Cheltenham. The other candidate was the Lib Dem deputy leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cllr Chris Coleman, who offered Martin his "100% support" after the result was announced.
Martin said: "I am delighted that local party members have put their trust in me again. In the 14 months since the Liberal Democrats left government, British politics has changed beyond recognition. The referendum campaign unleashed an orgy of infighting amongst all the parties except the Liberal Democrats who have seen a huge surge in membership since the result was announced. We now face economic uncertainty, deepening international divisions and a rise in racist and xenophobic incidents at home. It is urgent that we restore a stronger liberal voice in parliament. And that means winning back seats like Cheltenham."
"We know that we were hugely outspent by the Tories here last time so I'm under no illusion that this is going to be a easy fight" added Martin. "But I think people were genuinely shocked by that result and by the outcome of the referendum. I want to turn that shock into action and support for a real Lib Dem fightback."
- Tim Farron's call for an early general election can be found here