Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Vince takes the stage with a strong “Exit from Brexit” line

Vince is not our almost leader any more. Just after 4pm, Sal Brinton announced that there had only been one nomination received and therefore he was our actual leader.

Having one of the country’s most credible and authoritative experts on the economy at a time when the economy is at risk is no bad thing.

We will certainly see a change in style from Vince. He won’t be as Tiggerish as Tim, but he’ll fight the recklessness of the Tories and Labour and promote our Liberal Democrat values with energy and optimism.

Vince has huge intelligence, a way of telling it like it is that makes sense to people and a wicked sense of humour. I feel much more optimistic than I did on 9th June that we can actually get somewhere.

Watch this afternoon’s proceedings here. You can see speeches from Sal, Tim, Jo and Vince.  Some key points from Vince’s speech are below.

There is a huge gap in the centre of British politics and I intend to fill it. As the only party committed to staying in the single market and customs union, the Liberal Democrats are alone in fighting to protect our economy. It will soon become clear that the government can’t deliver the painless Brexit it promised. So, we need to prepare for an exit from Brexit.

Theresa May wants to take Britain back to the 1950s while Jeremy Corbyn wants to take Britain back to the 1970s. I will offer an optimistic, alternative agenda to power the country into the 2020s and beyond.

We have a government that can’t govern and an opposition that can’t oppose. Labour and the Conservatives have formed a grand coalition of chaos, driving through a hard Brexit which would deliver a massive blow to living standards.

Both parties have abandoned mainstream economics. I want to put economics back centre stage.

Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats will be at the centre of political life: a credible, effective party of national government.

We have doubled our membership and our new members have given the party enormous energy. I want to give leadership to that energy, hitting the headlines and putting our party at the centre of the national debate.

 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

Swinson: BBC Gender Gap should be a wake up call

We’ll all have seen those BBC pay figures today. How senior executives must have wept into their prosecco when Chris Evans proved to be such a failure on Top Gear.

On one level, you could be appalled at someone getting paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to read the news, or spout childish banalities on the radio. On the other, you can recognise that if they didn’t pay those rates, nobody we’ve ever heard of would be on the BBC – and as soon as we had heard of them, they’d be off.  Given the general high quality of the …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

It’s Swinson vs Lamb today

Today, MPs elect their Select Committee chairs. The Liberal Democrats are to chair the Science and Technology Committee. The House will have the chance to choose between two of our MPs, Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson.

Each has produced a statement in support of their candidacy:

Jo Swinson

Statement

“more collegiate than tribal” – Telegraph

Collegiate

Even the Telegraph said I’m collegiate, and they’re not known for their love of Lib Dems.  If you’ve been in Parliament for many years, I hope you agree that I engaged constructively with MPs regardless of party when I was a Minister: from pubs to payday lending, employment rights to equalities.  If you’re newer, you don’t need to take my word for it, do ask your colleagues.  And feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or ideas.

Fair

Select Committees are about the art of asking good questions to get to the heart of an issue.  It’s a wonderful privilege – and fascinating – to be able to quiz experts on any given subject, and I hugely enjoyed my time on the Environmental Audit Committee from 2007-2010.  Every member of a Select Committee has an important role to play.  In creating reports and recommendations for Government, Select Committees should be both challenging and constructive: giving credit where it’s due, and being bold about where change is needed.

Enthused by science and technology

Science and technology offer hope for the advancement of society, as an engine of growth for the economy, and to solve the big problems we face as humanity, from climate change to disease.  The UK has a pivotal role to play, with a well-respected scientific community that should be supported and celebrated.  I’m enthused by these opportunities, as an early adopter of technology for democratic engagement, a former Vice-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Digital Taskforce, and having served as a Non-Executive Director of a data science start-up.  My constituency is home to the Beatson Institute, a world-class science facility focused on cancer research.

Can v Should

Science rightly pushes the frontiers of knowledge, and asks “Can we?”.  In public policy terms, we must also ask “Should we?”  Ethical questions range from balancing online privacy with security to preventing artificial intelligence entrenching current inequalities, from how to assess the benefit of new pharmaceuticals to understanding fully the impact of drones and driverless cars on employment.  The Select Committee should play a crucial role in exploring these dilemmas and finding a path forward.

Norman Lamb

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Jo Swinson’s message for Pride 2017: Love Happens here

Here is Deputy Leader Jo Swinson’s message for Pride 2017. The text is below:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

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
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 16th Aug - 8:57pm
    Michael BG, there are a number of different issues here. Our decline in the opinion polls occurred in stages as Tim13 comments above. The tuition...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 16th Aug - 8:49pm
    @Kirsten Johnson In your previous article you referred to Oxfordshire County Council recently voting to move to a committee system of governance rather than the...
  • User AvatarMartin 16th Aug - 8:14pm
    @davidallen, Brexit will cause a century of impoverishment? Obviously voters won't want to know if you make such ridiculous and unprovable claims, they probably think...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 16th Aug - 7:51pm
    I think that we need to be careful about rushing to judgement about what is going on. Something is clearly not right. The important thing...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 16th Aug - 7:36pm
    @ Joe Bourke “Trying to win votes by appealing to a section of graduates is not much of a strategy.” Scrapping the current student tuition...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 16th Aug - 7:17pm
    David Evershed. Given that there are at least five food banks in Buckinghamshire I would have that social justice in a rich county was infinitely...