Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Splitting hairs? Jo Swinson is “Deputy leader of the (UK) parliamentary party” ?

Many congratulations to Jo Swinson on being elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat (UK) Parliamentary Party, sometimes referred to as the “Deputy Leader”.

Well, perhaps that sometimes should be “virtually always”.

The only reference I can find to creating a Deputy Leader in our constitution is here:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Jo Swinson confirmed as Lib Dem Deputy Leader

In news that will surprise nobody, Jo Swinson has been confirmed as the Liberal Democrats’ new Deputy Leader.

Sal Brinton just posted the news in a tweet:

She must have been the only nominee at the close of nominations. Had there been a contest, there would have been a hustings at next week’s Parliamentary party meeting.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Some questions to potential candidates

With the news that Jo Swinson is running for Deputy Leader, not Leader, my enthusiasm has hit a low point. We’ve been through some hard times as a party, and in areas, particularly Wales, we are still facing them, and the road ahead is not easy. At the moment I see no potential candidate that can spark my enthusiasm and take us forward.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We need someone that can win people over, winning over party members is one thing, but winning over the general public when we are seen as toxic or an irrelevance is a lot harder.

I’m sure all possible candidates are a) qualified enough and b) will bring something different to the table but is that enough? We must not go easy on them. Ask the difficult questions and don’t back down.

To the candidates: some preliminary questions worth thinking about …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Jo Swinson MP writes..The role I want to play in our party’s leadership

It feels like an age since I was knocking on doors in the pouring rain in the final hour before polls closed, then hearing the shock of the exit poll on the car radio heading home to a hairdryer and somewhat less bedraggled attire for the count.

Yet here we are just a few days later, embarking on an election for leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I went to see Tim on Wednesday afternoon to tell him I thought he should definitely stay on, and I was excited at the prospect of putting myself forward to be Deputy Leader.  I was stunned when he told me he would be resigning that evening.

Listening to Tim’s dignified statement, outlining the personal turmoil he felt during the election, I can’t fault him for deciding to step down, but I feel very sad that it came to this.  Tim has done so much for our party.  In the devastating aftermath of the 2015 election, to build a record membership and increase MPs by 50% in just 2 years is a massive achievement.  Just as important, is that we now have our most diverse Parliamentary Party ever.  We owe Tim a massive debt of gratitude.

Since his shock announcement, I have been overwhelmed by so many lovely messages from people I know, and from many members I have not yet met, encouraging me to stand for leader.  I am touched and flattered that you look to me – and I am determined to play a key role in our party’s leadership.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 111 Comments

Willie, Christine and Jo celebrate Scottish Lib Dem wins

I could cheerfully have swung for Willie Rennie on Friday afternoon when he suggested an event on Sunday morning to celebrate our 4 Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs. I mean, it’s the first Sunday morning in 7 weeks most  of us could have had a lie-in. I thought nobody would want to go and it would be a disaster.

I was wrong. It was well-attended, there were broadcast and print journalists there and the atmosphere was great. There are, however,  two very important lessons to learn from the event, but more of that later. A huge crowd of people turned up at Jo Swinson’s campaign office in Milngavie. One person brought his two gorgeous and friendly  dogs, Caleb and Bella, who looked resplendent in their Jo Swinson rosettes.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton came across from Edinburgh to join in the celebrations. Christine used to live in Bearsden and told how it was Jo who had inspired her to get involved in politics and stand for Parliament.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Voter to Jo Swinson: “We’ve missed you”

The New Statesman has a profile of the East Dunbartonshire seat where Jo Swinson is hoping to regain the seat she lost to the SNP in 2015.

It’s clear that she is held in great affection by the voters:

The Liberal Democrat candidate is happy to play on her personal connection to the constituency where she was raised. This election has come so soon after the last one, at which Swinson lost the seat to the SNP, that she can run on her record. She had a reputation as a hard-working local representative, and voters seem to have retained a remarkable fondness for her. One young mum I encounter confirms Swinson has her vote, and then adds: “I feel connected to you. We’ve missed you.”

Another supporter admits that Swinson’s personality is swaying her choice. She dismisses sitting MP John Nicolson – “I don’t like him. Jo did more for us” – before turning to Swinson and softly saying: “I’m so glad you’re back.”

It’s impossible to tell if there are tears in Swinson’s eyes as she steps away from the doorstep, or just drops from the relentless rain. “When you’ve lost your seat and you know you worked hard, you know it’s not personal,” she says. “But still it’s nice when people actually say stuff like that and confirm it.”

And the New Statesman is on to the SNP’s spurious claims (which they are making in Edinburgh West and North East Fife too) that it’s the Tories that are their main opposition. 

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

WATCH: A brighter Lib Dem future for Britain – with Tim, Andrew, Layla, Jo – and a cameo by Jasper

The party has been producing some cracking videos lately. This one is bound to make you smile. In it, Tim talks about what Lib Dem MPs can do for their communities and highlights the key strengths of 3 of our key candidates. Andrew George on fishing, Layla Moran on science and Jo Swinson on business are featured.

And, if, like me, you are a fan of Tim’s Springer Spaniel, Jasper, you’ll be very happy indeed.

Enjoy.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments
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