Yeovil MP David Laws has offered his support to under-fire Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
After the party slumped under the weight of a UKIP "earthquake" at Thursday's European and local elections, the Liberal Democrat leader has come under increasing scrutiny from the media and some members of his party.
However, days after Lord Ashdown came out in support of Mr Clegg, Yeovil MP David Laws has also backed his leader and tipped the party to hit back.
Mr Laws said: “I am a very strong supporter of Nick Clegg and he has my backing and that of the overwhelming majority of Lib Dem MPs and party members.
“Being in Coalition at a time of austerity was always going to be tough, but we are now beginning to see a solid economic recovery and we are sorting out the financial mess left by the last Government.
“I am also very proud of our success in raising the personal tax allowance, so that people can earn more before they pay income tax, and our work to invest more in schools and the early years.
“Nick is not a quitter and neither is our party, and we fully intend to complete this term of Coalition Government so that we can get our economy and our country back on the right track.”
Long-serving Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson was among the high-profile casualties in the European elections, after being ousted from his seat for the first time since 1994.
Mr Laws said: "I am incredibly sorry that Graham Watson has not been re-elected to the European Parliament. Graham has been a real champion for Somerset and for the UK in the European Parliament, and he will be sorely missed.
"I am very sad for Graham and his team but I know that he will bounce back and he still has an immense amount to contribute to public life.”
UKIP’s William Dartmouth and Julia Reid were elected to the European Parliament for the South West while Conservatives Ashley Fox and Julie Girling retained their seats.
Clare Moody retook a seat for the Labour Party, while Molly Scott Cato made history by becoming the first Green Party MEP in the South West.