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Hughes: Voters will only realise impact in coming days

One of the Liberal Democrats' most high profile casualties of last night's election mauling has said voters who returned the Conservatives to majority power will only realise the impact of their decision in the coming days.

Lib Dem veteran Simon Hughes, who lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat after 32 years as an MP, said ideas of fairness will no longer influence the policy of the ruling administration.

Simon Hughes told ITV News his party's core message is as "strong as ever" despite taking a "battering" at the ballot box.

The case for a fairer Britain and a fairer world hasn't gone away. In opposition we will rise to the challenge. We will take on the Tory government when we need to and I'm sure there'll be many many reasons for needing to take on the Tory government.

And I think many people will reflect over coming days that what we did in contributing to government made a huge difference for the better and that a Conservative majority government is now sadly not going to have that same fairness agenda, which we absolutely had as our central message.

– Simon Hughes

Sturgeon: SNP are not responsible for Tory victory

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said her party bears no responsibility for the Conservatives being returned to power as a majority government.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will speak to Prime Minister David Cameron about Scotland's comprehensive vote for the SNP after flying down from Edinburgh Airport. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Arriving in London for the VE Day 70th anniversary events, Ms Sturgeon said results south of the border had determined the election outcome.

The SNP fought a campaign in Scotland and the people of Scotland have put their trust in us. It was Labour's job to beat the Conservatives in England and Labour hasn't come close to doing that.

Even if Labour had won all of the seats that they held in Scotland they still wouldn't have beaten the Conservatives. We had the shadow chancellor losing his seat (and) Labour failing to take the seats that they had to do.

– Nicola Sturgeon

Harriet Harman stepping down as Labour deputy leader

Harriet Harman is stepping down as Labour's deputy leader, she has announced.

She paid tribute to Ed Miliband "for his leadership" and "for his decency, his commitment and his constant striving for a fairer country".

In a speech, she said: "On the resignation of Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party I, as his deputy, am stepping forward to be acting leader until a new leader is elected by the party."

She added: "With a new leadership team in place, after what has undoubtedly been a serious defeat, the Labour Party will be best placed to be the strong opposition this country needs - defending our NHS and our public services, and fighting for fairness, equality and social justice.

"That determination will be all the fiercer in the face of this Tory government."

Harriet Harman is to follow Ed Miliband in resigning from her position within Labour's leadership after the party's hugely disappointing election result. Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
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