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The German MEP took to Twitter to congratulate Sir Ed Davey after he won the Lib Dem leadership contest. But Mr Verhofstadt could not resist taking a swipe at Brexit in his post.
The MEP said: “Congratulations @EdwardJDavey on your election to lead the @LibDems.
“The radicalised Tory party of 2020 chooses isolationism & anti-European dogma over cooperation.
“As an internationalist with conviction, I know you & your party have the chance to change this!”
Mr Verhofstadt’s tweet prompted a strong reaction from Brexiteers.
Former Brexit Party MEP Belinda de Lucy hit back: “Guy – you were a gift to the Brexit cause personifying the most frightening elements of the EU project.
“There is a reason the LibDems TANKED at the last election. You were a tiny part of that. We thank you.”
Another Twitter user simply wrote: “Delusional on so many levels.”
A third commented: “Not ‘anti-European’, it’s ‘anti-EU’. A big difference.
“Haven’t you learned the difference between Europe and the EU yet?
“One is a continent and the other is a failed trading project with awful federalist political ambitions.”
Another said: “11 MPs, they couldn’t change a lightbulb, they are the only party who can hold their party conference in a phone box and still maintain social distancing.”
A fifth added: “No Guy, the voters chose to leave your club, the government are merely doing what was promised.
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“I know voting is an alien concept to you now but, thankfully, we still use this quaint system.”
One more blasted: “The Lib Dems don’t even have enough members of Parliament to fill a phone box, Guy.
“Proving once again you know little of British politics.
“We are leaving and I guarantee other members states will soon follow. You are just going to have to accept it.”
Sir Ed was elected as the new Lib Dem leader on Friday.
The Kingston and Surbiton MP has been acting leader since arch-Remainer Jo Swinson lost her seat in the 2019 general election.
Sir Ed defeated Layla Moran to win the leadership by 42,756 votes to 24,564.
He admitted he has to turn the pro-EU party around after “three disappointing general election results”.
Sir Ed said: “We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Nationally our party has lost touch with too many voters.
“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.
“But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.
“The truth is: voters don’t believe the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life.”
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