Vancouver MLA Andrew Wilkinson has announced his bid to lead the B.C. Liberal Party.

Wilkinson made the announcement at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Coal Harbour Monday afternoon.

Wilkinson says his top priority is ensuring his party is able to win the next election. He warns if the Liberals remain divided, they will stay on the opposition benches.

The former minister of advanced education was joined at the event by former ministers Michelle Stilwell, Mary Polak and John Rustad, as well as rookie MLAs Doug Clovechok and Tom Shypitka. It was unclear if all of them were endorsing Wilkinson as leader.

Wilkinson joins Surrey MP Dianne Watts and former Vancouver mayor and current MLA Sam Sullivan as higher-profile candidates in the race to succeed Christy Clark, who resigned as party leader Aug. 4.

With files from Richard Zussman