The beaten Lib Dem MEP candidate for the North East has said there “shouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction” amid calls for party leader Nick Clegg to step down.
More than 300 Lib Dem activists have started an online petition calling on Mr Clegg to resign following the party’s disastrous local and European election results.
The party was left with just one MEP and lost more than 300 councillors in last week’s elections.
Angelika Schneider, the MEP candidate for the North East, said: “I don’t think it’s the time for a knee-jerk reaction at the moment.
“We obviously have to go back and see what we’ve done wrong in this campaign, what we’ve done right, what we could do better for next time round, but I don’t think there’s any point in having a knee-jerk reaction at this point.”
The Lib Dems lost their one seat in the North East in the European Elections, picking up only 6% of the vote.
Nationally, they performed only marginally better, losing all but one of their MEPs, winning just 7% of the vote.
Despite a collapse in national support, Ms Schneider defended her party’s performance in the campaign.
She said: “We’ve had a very strong message on Europe and jobs but we were the only party making the case for Europe after 40 years of anti-EU rhetoric.
“It’s been quite a tough message to get across.”
Labour won two seats in the North East, with UKIP winning their first MEP in the region, while the Conservatives’ Martin Callanan lost his seat as a North East MEP having first been elected in 1999.#####