The former leader of Kingston Council (RBK) has abandoned her longstanding support for Kingston and Surbiton MP Ed Davey to back his opponent in the race to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Liz Green, who led Kingston Council until she was replaced by Caroline Kerr earlier this year, is long term ally of Ed Davey in Kingston and her announcement came as a surprise as voting within the Lib Dems for their new leader continues.

Cllr Green described her decision as "difficult" in a Twitter post proclaiming her support for Davey's rival Layla Moran.

In it, she said despite being a long-term friend of the Kingston and Surbiton MP, her own analysis led her to believe the party's current levels of support (around 6 per cent according to one recent poll) showed Davey's inability to carry them forward at the local level:

"Lib Dem leadership election has been difficult for me. Ed is a friend, known him for 20 years, but I have to put the party's interests first," Cllr Green wrote.

Davey has stood in as acting leader of the party after the 2019 General Election saw former leader Jo Swinson lose her seat in East Dunbartonshire.

Pollster John Curtice said recently that whoever wins the leadership would inherit a party at "rock bottom".

"We can't recover in Local Government with a poll rating of just 6 per cent.

"I don't think Ed can achieve this, so I've voted for @LaylaMoran," Cllr Green added, in a Twitter post that garnered hundreds of supporting 'likes' online.

Davey is favoured by bookmakers to win the contest, which will conclude on Wednesday (August 26) with the winner announced soon after.

However, his campaign has been best by problems including being found guilty of misleading voters, for which they were reprimanded by party authorities earlier this month.