Nick Clegg resigns as Liberal Democrat leader following slump in support

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg resigned after support for his party collapsed.Reuters

Britain's deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg resigned on Friday as leader of the Liberal Democrats after his party was crushed at the national election.

Clegg, who in 2010 led his party to its first ever spell in government as junior partner to Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives, retained his seat in parliament but saw the vast majority of his colleagues lose theirs.

With nearly all the seats counted, the Liberal Democrats held just eight on Friday morning, down from the 57 they won in 2010.

"Clearly the results have been immeasurably more crushing and unkind than I could ever have feared," an exhausted looking Clegg told a news conference.

"I must take responsibility, and therefore I announce that I will be resigning as leader of the Liberal Democrats. A leadership election will now take place according to the party's rules."