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July 18, 2009 12:00 AM

A North East Euro-MP is to raise her national profile after being elected as the leader of the UK's Liberal Democrat delegation to the European Parliament. Lib Dem Fiona Hall, who was re-elected in June for a second term as a Member of the European Parliament for the North East, said:

"I am very honoured to be elected leader of the UK Liberal Democrats in Europe and look forward to having increased influence in representing the interests of our region."

Fiona will head a very strong delegation as Lib Dem MEPs have been able to secure key positions within the European Parliament (including Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Vice-President of the Parliament and Quaestor), gaining more influence than ever before.

Said Fiona:

"Our MEPs have never been stronger in Europe, or for Europe. We now wield more influence than any other UK delegation, which is proof positive that it pays to be pro-European. Those parties that isolate themselves sell our citizens short.

"Liberal Democrats will use our strength to fight for an open and transparent Parliament that gets real results for citizens.

"I am looking forward to leading our team at the start of a challenging new mandate."

Fiona's election was welcomed by the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK, Nick Clegg MP:

"Fiona is a woman of immense integrity and deeply held convictions, particularly on European issues and the environment.

"I am very much looking forward to working with her to create a Europe that helps people through the recession, tackles international crime and is transparent and accountable in all that it does."

Lib Dem Sir Alan Beith MP, who works closely with Fiona in his constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed, said:

"I'm delighted that Fiona, who represents our region so well, has now been elected to a prominent position in the European Parliament."