By Cllr Paul Hodgkinson Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Gloucestershire County Council

Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson.

That’s my view and the view of many who are now lumbered with a Prime Minister for whom none of us voted and who was elected by 92,000 Conservative Party members (less than 0.2% of the population).

The Cotswold MP is backing his old Etonian colleague.

Something must be seriously wrong in our country for an old school tie to mean more than honesty and ability.

Johnson’s record as Foreign Secretary speaks for itself – a man out of his depth, gaffe-prone and unable to deliver on the false promises and lies he spouted in the 2016 EU Referendum.

Who can forget the famous bus emblazoned with the promise of ‘£350 million a week’ to go to the NHS if we left the EU?

That lie – along with many others – has been proven to be pie in the sky.

Our country needs a dose of honesty, not bluster and buffoonery.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown claims that there has been a Boris bounce in the polls since he took over as PM.

He clearly forgot the result of the Brecon and Radnor by-election when the Lib Dems stormed to victory, restricting Mr Johnson to just 311 MPs – only making a one-person-majority with the assistance of the far-right DUP in Northern Ireland.

That’s just one vote to try to crash out of the EU with a ‘No Deal Brexit’ – which was never promised in the Referendum and which will have dire consequences for business, farmers and our public services.

Our economy has already slipped from being the top performing in the EU to one of the worst since 2016.

No, Boris is seriously tainted and flawed.

What we need is a fresh, energetic and realistic leader.

Someone who really will address the school cash crisis, fund our NHS so local A&Es are not having to close, tackle climate change and address the deep social inequality that two Etonians are never faced with or recognise.

Instead, we have had a prime minister dumped on us with no fresh ideas, no mandate and promises, which after Brexit, he can’t fund.

The Liberal Democrats have elected Jo Swinson as our new leader.

I backed her as the first woman leader and I believe in her.

She has outlined a vision for the country which spells out the danger of crashing out of the EU on 31 October.

She really does want to bring the country back together again after the appalling errors which the Conservative Party have made since 2015.

I want my country back – a highly successful, well respected, outward looking place.

Speaking to people around the Cotswolds many want the same. We demand better.