Tonight the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party and the Federal Executive of the Liberal Democrat party have overwhelmingly accepted my recommendation that we should now enter into a coalition government with the Conservative Party.

Before I say anything more about that coalition government I would like to express my thanks and admiration for Gordon Brown. He has been a towering figure in British politics for well over a decade. And the manner in which he has acted over the last few days has demonstrated immense dignity, grace and a profound sense of his public duty.

We are now going to form a new government More importantly than anything else, we are going to form a new kind of government; I hope this is the start of a new kind of politics I have always believed in. Diverse, plural, where politicians with different points of view find a way to work together to provide the good government for the sake of the whole country.

That was what we were asked to do by the people of Britain in the General Election last Thursday and that is what we will deliver.

I want to thank David Cameron for the very open, constructive and workmanlike way in which we have come together to make this agreement on how we can come together in this coalition government. We are obviously politicians from different parties. I believe we are now united in seeking to meet the immense challenges that now face the country and to deliver a fairer, better Britain.

Of course there will be problems along the way; of course there will be glitches. But I will always do my best to prove that new politics isn’t just possible – it is also better.

I’d like to say something directly to the nearly seven million people who supported the Liberal Democrats in the General Election last week. I am now acutely aware that I carry your hopes and aspirations into this coalition agreement.

I am sure you have many questions, maybe many doubts. But I can assure you I would not have entered into this agreement unless I was genuinely convinced it was a unique opportunity to deliver the changes you and I believe in.

  • Fair taxes.
  • A fair start in life for every child.
  • A new approach to our discredited banking system and the prospect of green and sustainable economic growth.

And new, open politics which you can trust once again.

So I hope you will now keep faith with us let us prove to you that we can serve this country with humility, with fairness at the heart of everything we do. And with total dedication to the interests and livelihoods of everyone in this country.

Details of the agreement will be circulated as soon as possible.