Tag Archives: interviews

Jo Swinson says her constituents are proud she’s taking on Boris Johnson

Jo Swinson has given two major press interviews in the past two days – one to Scotland on Sunday talking about her fight to retain her East Dunbartonshire seat and one to The Times (£) which is more about what she and the Liberal Democrats offer nationally – an open hearted, open minded outward-looking liberal country.

In the Times piece, she talks about the unique Lib Dem offer:

The 39-year-old leader of the Liberal Democrats is from a different generation to Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn (16 years younger than the prime minister and 31 years younger than the Labour leader) with a baby and a five-year-old to juggle on the campaign trail while her husband is away on business. She brought a bubble machine and popcorn maker to the Lib Dems’ election launch. “I think I am quite different to the other leaders,” she says. “They’ve all got an outlook which is very much harking back to the past, whether that’s the 1870s or the 1970s, and I’m very focused on the future we build, one that is open-hearted, open-minded, outward-looking, internationalist and liberal.”

And she tackles the issue of this week, which has been attacks from Labour for not standing down in their favour:

For those still in the Labour Party, many are conflicted but ultimately they are standing on a platform to get the hard left and Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 . . . Labour is not a party of Remain.” As for the Brexit Party standing down candidates in Tory-held seats, she says: “It sends a very clear message to moderate One Nation Conservatives about where Boris Johnson is — he is at one with Nigel Farage and there are a lot of Conservative voters who are very unhappy at that.”

She also describes the challenges of returning to work as a minister after maternity leave.

In the Scotland on Sunday piece, she talked about how she was on the side of most people in her East Dunbartonshire seat:

“Both are live issues – and that’s different to 2017 when it was much more about the prospect of an indyref. Now, with where the Brexit process has got to, people are much more concerned about that.

“This is a constituency where around two-thirds of people voted to stay in the UK, and are around three-quarters voted to stay in the EU. It’s very clear that people in East Dunbartonshire want Scotland to stay in the UK and the UK to be in the EU. It’s only the Liberal Democrats that are standing up for that position.”

And when she’s going round the doors, her constituents like her new role as leader:

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s interview with Alastair Campbell

Jo Swinson has talked to Alastair Campbell for GQ magazine. They met twice. Once on 27th August and then after the Parliamentary drama on 3-4 September.

You can watch the whole thing on You Tube:

The written transcript is here. but you need to watch the video to get the whole thing.

It’s well worth 47 minutes of your time to see a thoughtful conversation which ranges from Brexit to Scottish independence and why people are turning to the Liberal Democrats:

Tens of thousands joined the Lib Dems since the start of May because people want someone that speaks to those small “l” liberal values for opportunity, internationalism, equality, fairness, treating people as individuals.

The biggest reason she can’t deal with Boris:

I don’t think he cares! I think he really doesn’t care. What he did in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe just makes me furious. He doesn’t seem to show any kind of remorse or feel bad about it – he says he feels anguish, but he shows no evidence of it whatsoever. All he cares about is Boris Johnson and becoming prime minister and he was prepared to say whatever it took to get him into Number Ten. One of the reasons I have stood for leadership of my party is that I think the public needs a better choice. At the next election, the offer of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn is not good enough. That’s why I’ve set out ambitious plans for the Liberal Democrats, that we are aiming for government and I am a candidate for prime minister, because I think the country needs us to be doing that.

And why she thinks she is the best candidate for PM:

When I joined the Liberal Democrats I didn’t think that I would be sitting here today and talking about potentially becoming prime minister and running for that, but when I look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, hand on heart, I am very confident I could do a better job than either of them. We have got a no-deal Brexit around the corner; we have a climate emergency that we have less than 12 years to tackle; we have got poverty in our communities; we have real problems with our politics more generally. I genuinely feel we need to make sure that the Liberal Democrats can be that home for people with liberal values who want and demand and deserve something better than either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn.

Alastair then makes the mistake of mentioning how difficult it must be for her because she has young kids:

AC: That feels very hard to me. Two young children, including your baby, taking on the leadership of a party.

JS: Hang on, did Tony Blair not have a baby when he was prime minister, I seem to recall?

AC: He did.

JS: Yeah. I mean, men do do this. It has been known.

When they met on 6th September, Alastair asked Jo if she thought Boris Johnson had fascist tendencies:

I am not going to put that label on him. You have to be careful with language. But I found the imagery of that speech in front of police officers, where he was effectively saying he might not obey the rule of law, very worrying. The juxtaposition was quite sinister. It felt rather authoritarian.

There was an interesting discussion about the risks of splitting the opposition vote:

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Layla Moran on her Palestinian heritage, and what she’s fighting for at Westminster

Layla Moran ht the headlines this week when Tory MPs jeered her as she got up to ask the Prime Minister a question.

She’s now been speaking to Times Red Box about the issues that matter to her.

She talks about her Palestinian heritage:

She is also the first member of parliament of Palestinian descent, through her mother, a Christian whose relatives became a “typical diaspora family” after they were forced out of their home in Jerusalem.

She has already been adopted an unofficial ambassador for the Palestinian community in parliament, but is reluctant to be defined solely by her heritage. “I think I could not get away with not being an ambassador for the Palestinian people but that wasn’t why I was elected. It was to fight for education and the NHS.”

Ms Moran says there is a desire amongst Palestinians to show a different face to the world. “They want people to see that unlike refugee-ridden, poor, downtrodden peoples, in fact Arabs are very proud of our culture and we are intelligent and articulate and talking about that things that matter like education and health.”

She has wanted to be an MP for some time:

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In conversation with David Laws

The former Liberal Democrat MP and government minister discusses his new book about the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government, says what he would do differently in hindsight, and looks into his crystal ball to see what the future holds for the party…

Your new book about the Coalition has certainly made a few waves following its Sunday newspaper serialisation – the right kind of waves?

I think inevitably there is a temptation in the press to shed light on things which are currently topical, such as Tory divisions on the referendum. But the primary reason I wrote the book was to give an accurate, historic account of the Coalition and a proper explanation of our part in it – and if the serialisation results in more people reading the book, so much the better.

It sounds like you’re, by and large, proud of what the Lib Dems achieved in government?

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Nick Clegg talks economy, snoopers charter and human rights with Andrew Neil

Yesterday, Nick Clegg did a long and quite technical interview with Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics. They talked about the fragility of the economy, measures taken by the Coalition to boost construction and manufacturing and  the Green Investment Bank. They also talked about Nick’s decision to kill off the so-called Snoopers’ Charter. Neil showed him quotes from senior police officers and he said quite unequivocally that the Police had enough powers already. You can watch the whole interview here and for a quick summary, I’ve done a collection of my tweets on Storify.

 

–>

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Tim Farron talks to the Huffington Post about getting out of the Coalition

Party President Tim Farron has been talking to the Huffington Post about everything from the local election results, the presentation errors in the Budget, his leadership ambitions, potential coalition deal breakers and exit strategies.

He is adamant that Lords Reform will be delivered within this Parliament:

“The coalition agreement is not something that you can pick and choose from,” he says. “If people believe that Lords reform is something that can be dispensed with, for instance, or that it’s tolerable for the Tory whips to not deliver a majority or a diluted Bill, it does bring into a question of trust, and

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPatrick 10th Dec - 1:59am
    I don't get the interviewers point. How would it help preventing people entering the country, that they would be divided in two groups according to...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 10th Dec - 1:21am
    Channel Four seems unable to take a neutral position in political debate or political news. Maybe the Lib Dems should join the Conservative and Brexit...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 9th Dec - 11:59pm
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  • User AvatarDavid Raw 9th Dec - 11:39pm
    @ David Le Grice, "Both this and other instances make it clear that at least one person at the BBC (presumably a tribal labour supporter)...
  • User AvatarRoss McLean 9th Dec - 11:38pm
    In any previous election, the PM's refusal to look at the picture of the boy in hospital - putting the reporter's phone in his pocket...
  • User AvatarMatthew Campbell 9th Dec - 11:11pm
    David Raw, I appreciate you shouting 'Oh what a giveaway!' like Eric Idle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I fear what you...
Tue 10th Dec 2019