Sir Vince Cable has been named as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.
The 74-year-old former business secretary took up the post after nominations for the chance to replace former leader Tim Farron closed without any other challengers.
Mr Farron stepped down in the wake of the recent general election, stating he had been unable to reconcile his Christian faith with the demands of leading a "progressive, liberal" party.
Twickenham MP Sir Vince, who was knighted last year, was the only contender to replace him after all other potential candidates - including Norman Lamb and Sir Ed Davey - ruled themselves out.
In his inaugural speech, Sir Vince said the two main parties - the Conservatives and Labour - had both been taken over by "ideologues".
On the one hand, he said, the ruling party "hates Europe", while the opposition "hates capitalism" - and he vowed to fight for the Lib Dems to regain the "gigantic space" left in the centre ground.
I'm ambitious for this country and I'm ambitious for our party.