Liberal Democrat politicians must re-engage with local communities to have a chance of overtaking Labour in the polls, the party President warned today.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Brighton, Simon Hughes, the bisexual politician, discussed the Liberal Democrat electoral successes over the last twelve months in local and by-elections and expressed a desire to see politicians engaging with people at a local level and dealing with issues that affect their everyday lives.

The MP for Southwark North Bermondsey said: “For the first time the possibility of overtaking Labour to become the second party of local government across Britain is within our grasp.

“We are increasingly able to take power and use it responsibly. In more and more places, we now have the experience and the people to become a credible, respected, and determined alternative government.

Commenting on the future of the party he said: “The opportunity for liberal government has never been greater in our lifetimes.

“It is time in Britain to bring liberal democracy home.”

The Liberal Democrat Party Conference is on until September 21 2006.