Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson and the art of disagreeing well

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When I was at London University in the latter 1980’s studying History and Politics, a particular incident made an impact on me and I recall it clearly.

I was in a politics tutorial, one in which the very mild mannered, but enthusiastic, tutor, a delightful German of young middle age, had got the class to be a sort of forum for topical discussion. “What shall we discuss today, then?” He said, one day, as often he did. He was greeted by silence, as often he was!

“Any suggestions?” He said, again trying to enthuse. He was greeted by silence, again nobody very enthused. I was very enthusiastic, but said nothing, because I rarely did say anything, and was very political, elected during those university years as a President of the Student Union, and I did not want to be pushy or too showy.

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++Breaking news: Jo Swinson announces Shadow Cabinet

Jo Swinson has just announced her Shadow Cabinet.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet
Jo Swinson Leader
Ed Davey Chancellor of the Exchequer
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Chuka Umunna Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
International Development
International Trade
Christine Jardine Home Department
Justice
Women and Equalities
Deputy Chief Whip
Tom Brake Exiting the European Union
Duchy of Lancaster
Jamie Stone Defence
Scotland
Vince Cable Health and Social Care
Layla Moran Education
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Wera Hobhouse Climate Change and Environment
Transport
Tim Farron Housing, Communities and Local Government
Work and Pensions
North of England (Northern Powerhouse)
Alistair Carmichael Chief Whip
Northern Ireland
Jane Dodds Wales
Food & Rural Affairs
Catherine Bearder Europe
Siobhan Benita London
Willie Rennie Scotland
Kirsty Williams Wales
Dick Newby Leader of the House of Lords
Sal Brinton President of the Liberal Democrats

*Please note that Norman Lamb and Sarah Wollaston will attend relevant Shadow Cabinet meetings but given their roles as Chairs of respective Select Committees they will not take a formal Shadow Cabinet role.

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Lib Dem Brexit campaign chief to be Jo Swinson’s chief of staff

Today has been pretty much perfect.

I am in my favourite place in the world, the weather is glorious, I had almost eight uninterrupted hours of sleep for the first time in a long time and the local shop had in stock Lotus Biscoff biscuits just when I had a craving for them. There is a chicken roasting in the oven and some very nice gin waiting for me when I get back from our evening beach walk.

I thought it couldn’t really get much better and then I heard who Jo Swinson had appointed as her Chief of Staff.

Rhiannon Leaman, as the Liberal Democrats’ Head of National campaigns was responsible for our Stop Brexit campaign. And that’s seen us almost triple our opinion poll ratings in the last few months. She has had various campaigning roles in the party over the last few years and she knows it backwards. She has the keenest of political instincts.  She has a brilliant combination of skills to bring to the role. And I can also imagine that she will be good at  what every good Chief of Staff needs to do – tell the boss “No” from time to time. No matter how good they are, they all need that.

Rhiannon started out in politics working for Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid in the days before we were in government. You could not imagine two more different people to work for than Alan and Jo, I have to say.

As an aside, Alan has had a role in developing some very talented people in the party. Willie Rennie’s political “parents” when he was a student in Paisley were Alan and Cllr Eileen McCartin.  Back in 1989, they fought a brilliant campaign in a Council by-election that gave Labour a fright – they came so close to winning.

Jo has an outstandingly strong team around her. Her Senior Adviser, Sara Mosavi, is promoted to Head of Office. She will lead on things like policy development.

It has already been announced that her press secretary will be Ben Rathe who worked in the party’s media operation during the years we were in government. More recently, he played an absolute blinder for her in the run-up to and during her leadership campaign. 

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The most important thing Jo Swinson did this week

When Jo Swinson was asked on the Today programme if she had talked to Ken Clarke and Harriet Harman about the possibility of them leading a Government of National Unity, my first thought was “Do you know nothing about her?”

Jo does her homework. There is no way on earth she would have said that Corbyn didn’t have the support to become temporary PM if she wasn’t sure of the figures. When she said that Corbyn couldn’t command the support of the House of Commons it is because she had had the conversations and worked that out. When she said that people like Ken Clarke and Harriet Harman would be great choices to lead a Government of National Unity as they didn’t have any long term ambitions to do the job, of course she had spoken to them first.

Her constant refrain was about building a plan that worked, a plan that united those opposed to the destructive path our incompetent Prime Minister is trying to take us down.

And that’s important.

For two days, Jo dominated the news headlines. Actually, it was nearer three as the news that Sarah Wollaston had joined us came late on Wednesday.

Dominating the news headlines is news about the formation of a coherent plan to block no deal – and, if Jo has her way, to stop Brexit altogether. She was crystal clear that the aim of the Liberal Democrats is to remain in the EU and we would campaign to do so in any People’s Vote.

She looked an anxious nation in the eye and calmly and confidently told them that she, and others, potentially a majority of MPs, had their backs.

She talked about doing whatever it took to stop Brexit.

This all comes as the Sunday Times publishes details (£) of leaked government documents showing how a no deal Brexit would lead to the return of a hard border in Ireland, food, fuel and medicine shortages and massive queues at ports. It doesn’t need explaining how this will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.

Here’s what they have to say on medicines:

Any disruption that reduces, delays or stops the supply of medicines for UK veterinary use would reduce our ability to prevent and control disease outbreaks, with potential harm to animal health and welfare, the environment and wider food safety and availability, as well as, in the case of zoonotic diseases, posing a risk to human health. Industry stockpiling will not be able to match the 4-12 weeks’ stockpiling that took place in March 2019. Air freight capacity and the special import scheme are not a financially viable way to mitigate risks associated with veterinary medicine availability issues.

And on food:

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Lord Tony Greaves writes…So how would an interim government actually work?

For a start, here is my letter to the Guardian which they did not publish.

It is surely obvious that the best person to head up an interim multi-party government is an interim Prime Minister – a person with no longer term ambitions who is not going to try to use their interim position for their own advancement or that of their party? It should be a person who commands respect around the House of Commons and who is not standing again at the next General Election.

As for Mr Corbyn, can he be trusted on Europe? We all know that he and his closest advisers would like to leave the EU, that he has talked for the past three years about the need to get a “Labour Withdrawal Agreement”, and that he has been dragged kicking and screaming by members of his party to support any new people’s vote. In the highly unlikely event that he could win an overall majority in the General Election that he wants to call before any new referendum, are we confident that he would not abandon any such idea? Jo Swinson is right – he is not the person for the job.

But now we need to take the discussion further. In all the Westminster Bubble blather about who should be the Interim Prime Minister in an Interim Government, no-one seems to be thinking about how it would work. Of course it suits the Bubble to talk about personalities, who is falling out with who within and across the parties. And it means they don’t have to think and expose their ignorance about what the rules say and how the systems actually work.

Jo’s speech and letter were an excellent explanation of where the Remain forces (which at any given moment may or may not include Labour) stand in the short run. Experts in what the Commons might or might not be able to do in their fortnight back in September to stop a hard Brexit on 31st October are working hard on that. There is still over a fortnight before Parliament returns on 3rd September for the politics of it all to evolve, though to read and hear a lot of the current blather you’d think it all had to be done this weekend.

Paul Tyler’s excellent piece here sets out a good explanation of how the present government can be brought down, and what has to happen before a General Election would have to be called. There is still far too much loose talk in the media about the Prime Minister or even Mr Corbyn just “calling a General Election”. But if it does all result in the Queen inviting someone else to try to form an Interim or Caretaker Government, there seems to be no talk at all as yet about what such a Government would look like (other than who might be PM), how it would be constructed, how long it would last and what it would do.

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Corbyn’s offer: divisive by design?

Corbyn’s offer on Wednesday to opposition leaders was a new twist in the tragi-farce of Brexit. In brief, the offer goes as follows:

  1. He will table a vote of no-confidence in the Government.
  2. If that is successful, he would seek the confidence of the house to form a “strictly time-limited temporary Government”.
  3. If that is successful, he would aim to secure an extension to Article 50 to hold a General Election.
  4. He would then bring a vote to hold a General Election.
  5. In that General Election, Labour would commit to holding a public vote on the terms of exit, and it would include an option to Remain.

On social media, Labour supporters claim that if Lib Dems don’t support this it is a betrayal of our desire to stop Brexit (especially no-deal Brexit). To see a similar view in more words, the Guardian is reporting that the Lib Dems are now ‘isolated’ since other opposition leaders (Sturgeon, Lucas, Saville-Roberts) are receptive to the plan, and this is supported by an opinion piece.

Commentary has focused on whether Corbyn can command the confidence of the house. Swinson has challenged Corbyn to list the eight Conservative MPs whose support he can count on to get over the line (I make it nine with twelve independents so please correct me in the comments). Eight Conservatives seems like a stretch – I can’t even find eight current Conservatives who have backed a second referendum, let alone one brought about by Corbyn. Labour supporters think that being the leader of the Opposition gives Corbyn the right to head a unity government, whilst as Lib Dems we probably think that Corbyn and unity are unlikely concepts to find together and someone else would be better placed. 

The plan really falls apart at the General Election stage: I would argue the chances of returning a parliament which supports a people’s vote are very low. This is largely subjective, and therefore divisive: Labour supporters have been told for years that the only thing standing between Jeremy Corbyn and Downing Street is a General Election which they are bound to win (after all, he “won” the 2017 election didn’t he?). My assessment would be: 

  • The non-Conservative parties would be divided against a united Conservative party.
  • The “Leave” message from the conservatives would be much clearer than the “vote for us to have another vote on maybe not leaving or maybe leaving with some deal not sure what though” message from Labour.
  • It plays to Johnson’s strengths as a campaigner and personality
  • Labour would struggle to replicate their 2017 success, which was built on non-Brexit issues, without jeopardising the anti-no-deal-Brexit alliance who don’t agree with Labour on everything else. 

And even if a majority for a people’s vote is elected, it’s not clear if Corbyn wants a shot at renegotiating the withdrawal agreement, how he would campaign in the referendum, and even what would be in it (would it be deal vs remain, or no-deal vs deal vs remain). Then there’s the small matter of winning the referendum! Even just writing it all down is exhausting. Perhaps by this point, the “remain” option in the referendum campaign should be marketed as “make it all stop please”. 

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s keynote speech on how MPs can stop Boris

Stopping Boris Johnson inflicting a disastrous no deal Brexit on the country was the focus of Jo Swinson’s first big keynote speech since becoming Lib Dem leader.

She talked about two possible things that MPs could do to prevent us falling over the abyss.

Her preferred option would be for them to pass legislation requesting an extension to Article 50 and going for a People’s Vote.

Alternatively, Lib Dems would support a vote of no confidence called by Labour, and would look to support an emergency government which would stop no deal. She said that there is no way that the Commons would back Jeremy Corbyn to be PM and said that an emergency government should be led by someone who commanded the respect of both sides of the House – someone like Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman. She called on MPs to stand up and be counted and do everything possible to stop no deal.

She made clear that the Lib Dems wanted to stop Brexit completely – the best deal for peace, prosperity and security was what we already have in the EU.

It was a confident speech for Jo. She is such a contrast to the arrogant bluster of the Prime Minister and the tired, unconvincing interventions of Jeremy Corbyn. She comes across as grown-up, engaging, collaborative and wise. And she takes her #joinJo slogan from her leadership  campaign and turns it into a national call to get behind her.

Watch Jo’s whole speech here:

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Jo Swinson’s message for Eid-al-Adha

As Muslims celebrate Eid, Jo Swinson says that as Leader she will continue to make sure our party defends Britain’s Liberal values against Islamophobia and discrimination in all its forms. On the party’s website, she wrote:

For those who have taken part in Hajj, this is a season of new beginnings and Muslims across the globe will be taking time out to reflect on the significance of their faith in their own individual lives.

Sadly, we are witnessing a horrifying rise in Islamophobia which is often accompanied by exclusionary, right-wing nationalism. Islamophobic tropes are becoming commonplace and attacks on Muslims have been espoused by the man who has just become our Prime Minister. This is unacceptable. We must confront this poisonous rhetoric which, if left unchecked, will permeate our communities in the most extreme and hateful ways.

As Leader of the Liberal Democrats, I will continue to defend our country’s liberal values and will redouble our Party’s efforts to defeat discrimination in all its forms.

As we celebrate Eid, let us let us recognise the enduring and valuable contributions of Muslim communities across the country and let us refuse all attempts to divide our nation.

My warmest wishes to all those celebrating. Eid Mubarak!

In London, Cllr Hina Bokhari, Mayoral Candidate Siobhan Benita and Cllr Sam Foulder-Hughes went to a celebration in Kingston and recorded this video:

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A Remain Alliance and opportunities for the Lib Dems…..detail may not be quite there but Lib Dems are poised for massive breakthrough

On Friday night the Spectator’s Coffee House blog carried a piece by Nick Cohen about a Remain Alliance. It had details of all sorts of seats being divved up between us, Plaid and the Greens.

My first thoughts on reading that was that it was at best speculation. I mean, why on earth would anyone leak plans for a Remain Alliance to the heart of the Brexit-supporting media, I can’t imagine. Anyone can sit down with a bit of paper and the 2017 election results and work out where it might make sense to stand one Remain candidate. It’s not rocket science.

The official party response says:

These reports cited by Nick Cohen are inaccurate in many ways. As the strongest remain party we are committed to stopping Brexit and are actively talking to those in other parties, and none, to achieve this.

I mean, Unite to Remain is pretty open about what it is trying to do and I would be very surprised if there wasn’t some sort of arrangement in some seats. But that has to get buy-in from all sorts of people, not least the local parties involved. Just by way of interest, if you delve a bit deeper into that organisation, you will see that its director is one Peter Gerard Dunphy who, until last year, was the chair of our Federal Finance and Resources Committee. He left us to join the Change UK project earlier this year but is still on friendly terms. His motivation is more to bring about the massive change in politics than any falling out with the Lib Dems.

Today’s Observer carries a story saying that we are changing our strategy for a general election in the wake of new research which shows we could be in play in a couple of hundred seats. It mentions specific seats that we could be targeting, including Dominic Raab’s heavily Remain seat

The article basically says that we are changing our election strategy and trying to raise money. Now, if we weren’t doing these things, there would be something far wrong given that we could be facing an election within weeks. The election of a brilliant, engaging and dynamic leader with a strong message, and our victory in Brecon, should make those jobs a lot easier.

The article carries quotes from three senior Conservatives who suggests that the Tories could lose seats to us as voters are horrified at the hard right direction of the current Cabinet. This from a former Cabinet Minister:

The route the PM and Dominic Cummings have taken is really blind to the fact that you’ve opened up this yawning chasm in the centre of politics,” said one. “The Lib Dems have always been at their best in a crisis.”

And more:

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Photo special: Brecon and Radnorshire victory

Here are some photos, via Getty Images, from last night and this morning, showing celebrations in Brecon and Radnorshire. Scroll down to see more photos. Hover over the photo to see the full caption, or click on the photo to go to its origin on the Getty Images website. The first photo below shows Jo Swinson speaking in the constituency at 8 o’clock this morning:

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Help Jo get the vote out for Jane Dodds in Brecon – 3 hours to go

Jo Swinson shows her energetic style by heading down to Brecon for polling day and doing some knocking up with the candidate.

It isn’t usual for party leaders to do this sort of thing, but it’s very Jo to want to be there in the middle of the action, doing her bit.

It’s just great to see two of our party’s leaders out on a beautiful election evening knocking on doors.

And you can join Jo, if not in person, on the phones. All you need to know about how to do that is here. I’m about to hit the phones too.

Seriously, you want to be part of this campaign. It’s been positive, joyful, and vibrant – just like the politics we want to see, bringing people together.

Other parliamentarians spotted today around this vast constituency:

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The road to redemption – a Lib Dem manifesto

With a new leader comes a new beginning.  Here are some thoughts.  Liberal Democrats need to make a more positive case for staying in the European Union and address the fears of those who backed Brexit.  We should argue for a real end to “austerity” which involves being honest about the government borrowing more and taxing more.  We need to make the polluters pay for the damage they are causing to the environment. And we should re-invigorate local government, and local services, by returning to a realistic level of council tax.

Yes, some of these suggestions will be unpopular but it is better to be unpopular and right than to be popular and wrong.  Let’s just be brave. We were brave over a second EU referendum and now it’s a widely held position and may even come to pass.

On Brexit, we should be trying to bring the country together again after the shambles of the last three years.  Immigration is clearly a worry for many English cities.  European regulation is resented by many businesses.  Some European court rulings are hard to take.  People fear a Federation of Europe dominated by a corrupt elite.  We need to address these concerns by saying: of course Europe is not perfect but we can reform it from within. There are other countries in Europe who feel the same way.

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LibLInk Kishan Devani: Jo Swinson, our future Prime Minister

Just over a year and a half ago, Kishan Devani joined us from the Conservatives.He writes for AsianLite International about Jo’s election as leader and what that means for the Liberal Democrats and the country:

It was evident to me and all those present we were not looking at the leader of a UK political party, but in fact, we were witnessing the making of an international leader who can take on world issues and still care for the injustices felt by people domestically. Her courage to call out Trump so openly shows that she is not scared to take on

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29 July 2019 – today’s press release

Swinson: Sturgeon and Johnson have more in common than they realise

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s visit to Glasgow today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson warned against the divisions profered by the new PM and SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Jo said:

The best way to strengthen the United Kingdom is to stop Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have more in common than they realise. Both are failing to listen to Scotland with their respective ideological pursuits of independence and Brexit.

When it comes to working with our closest neighbours, we have been clear: our future is best served with a

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Swinson Surge: Could Jo Swinson be our next Prime Minister?

The political news coverage over the last few weeks has been predominantly dominated by an utterly childish leadership contest in the Conservative Party, in which 0.138% of the population voted for this current sitting Prime Minister.

In this volatile political climate, and with thousands of people joining the Liberal Democrats in the last week, it has become clear that the country is crying out for a liberal alternative. We are at a crossroads in British politics where we are faced with the choice between a populist right led by the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, and no credible …

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A playlist fit for a new leader

Those of us watching the announcement of our new leader last Monday were treated to an excellent playlist while we were waiting for the result to be declared.

Listen here and watch Jo’s fantastic acceptance speech.

The long delay, was, I understand, the wifi in the venue not being quite up to the job of giving us the result instantaneously at the touch of a button. But we got there in the end. And we got to listen to some really good tunes while we waited nervously.

At one point, my son actually came through and said “Why are YOU listening to such cool music?” To be fair, I don’t listen to music that often. I’m mostly into podcasts or Radio 4. However, when I do, my son has to endure my random collection of trash and musical theatre.

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Jo Swinson gives Jeremy Corbyn a lesson in opposing a terrible Government

Jo Swinson has had a very effective first six days as Lib Dem Leader. She’s been popping up all over the media and the fact that both Labour and SNP supporters alike have gone for her big time shows that they know she is a massive threat to them.

This morning, viewers of Sophy Ridge on Sunday will have seen Jeremy Corbyn offer his usual tired and hand-wringing approach to Brexit and his less than robust approach to anti-semitism in his party.

Immediately afterwards, they had Jo on. She was clear, engaging and she answered the questions put to her.

Here are some of the highlights:

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: The Lib Dems represent modern Britain and we’re aiming for the top

It’s been a busy first week as leader for Jo Swinson.

She’s questioned two Prime Ministers, been all over the media, headed to Brecon and Radnorshire to campaign with Jane Dodds ahead of the by-election next Thursday and has found time to write for the Evening Standard as well.

She contrasted the hype and the reality of our new Prime Minister:

Earlier this week, when Boris Johnson, London’s former Mayor, finally got the keys to No 10, he promised a Cabinet that represents modern Britain. But as all Londoners know, promises made by Johnson tend to be less impressive in reality than they are in rhetoric. In his reshuffle this week, he gave jobs to people who have supported the death penalty, who have bragged about not being a feminist, and who are completely opposed to abortion even in cases of rape. He has also sacked the only LGBT+ member of the Cabinet.

It shouldn’t surprise us that these are the people Johnson picked. Just look at him and what he has said. He has compared Muslim women to letterboxes and described elite women athletes as “glistening like wet otters”. He is determined, despite all the evidence on how damaging it will be to our economy, to pursue a no-deal Brexit. And yesterday, when I asked him to fulfil his reassurances that the three million EU citizens — our friends, family and neighbours — would retain their rights after Brexit, and to back a Lib Dem Bill to that effect, he was all talk and no trousers.

It’s enough to make anyone cry -but there is hope.

From Aberdeen to Cornwall, and everywhere in between, I’ve met so many people who believe that Britain should celebrate our differences, not just tolerate them; who believe that we should embrace the cultural diversity that has made Britain great, and who believe that we are at our strongest when we work with our European neighbours, not when we turn our back on them.

Those fundamentally liberal values — openness, inclusion, internationalism — are what truly represent the best of Britain, and it’s those values that I’m determined to fight for as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

And when she fights both Johnson and Corbyn, she is doing it as their equal.

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“Is he all talk and no trousers?” Jo’s first question to PM Boris

Jo Swinson had her first chance to question Boris Johnson today, as he made his first statement as Prime Minister.

Here’s the full exchange from Hansard:

The 3 million EU citizens are our family, our friends, our neighbours, our carers, yet for three years they have been made to feel unwelcome in our country. They deserve better than warm words and more months of anxiety. They deserve certainty, now. The Prime Minister has made assurances, so will he back the Bill of my Lib Dem colleague Lord Oates, which would guarantee in law the rights of EU citizens? Or is he all talk and no trousers?

The answer pretty much confirmed that that was indeed the case.

The Prime Minister
I congratulate the hon. Lady on her own election and join her in insisting on the vital importance of guaranteeing the rights and protections of the 3.2 million who have lived and worked among us for so long. Of course, we are insisting that their rights are guaranteed in law. I am pleased to say that under our settlement scheme some 1 million have already signed up to enshrine their rights.

Jonny Oates explained earlier this month why his Bill was much better than settled status.

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Jo tables motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s government


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Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson MP has tabled a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. She has also written to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to move an official motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson.

Speaking having tabled the motion, Jo Swinson said:

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Jo: A General Election? Bring it on….

Jo Swinson was on Newsnight talking about the new Cabinet. She said that she had written to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to call a Vote of No Confidence. When asked about whether she wanted to see a General Election, she said: “Absolutely. Bring it on.”

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Perfectly pitched – Jo’s first PMQ

It’s quite difficult to find the right words for your first appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions. But when your debut coincides with the departure of the Prime Minister, it’s even tougher.

You don’t want to be too attacking given that the person you are questioning has just been forced out of office, even if she has been responsible for the hostile environment.

What Jo managed with this question was to land blows Boris, who she’s said consistently is not fit to be PM and to give May the opportunity to attack Labour for being the only party not to have had a woman leader.

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I’m delighted it’s Jo, even though I voted for Ed

I spoke at party conference in the Spring and said, amongst other things, that I had no idea why I hadn’t started sooner in politics. The truth is I knew full well.

Back in the early 1990s, when I had my first child at the age of 25, and a couple more in a short space of time, only one of us *had* to take time off straight after the birth. Maternity segued into parental leave after the second child. My husband and I have a pretty egalitarian household but it would have been financial suicide for us to use paid childcare that early in our lives- we would have ended up paying over not only my entire salary, but also some of my husband’s- it simply wasn’t financially viable.

After the first child, I went back to work, but it seemed that everywhere I turned I was on the “mummy track”, not expected to be ambitious, expected in fact to focus my entire world around my children. Which of course every new parent does. Paternity leave did not exist, even in my husband’s forward-thinking workplace. Society at large expected care of the children to be the mother’s, not the father’s, concern. The entirety of society was built around that premise- for example, my children’s school finished at 2:50pm- there was no after-school care because the headteacher thought children should be at home after that time. There was great judgement cast on mothers who worked when their children were small.

I started to be politically active 3 years ago. I’ve passed the age now where I care what people think about my parenting. Alongside my three now very accomplished 20-somethings, I also have a 9 year old and in 2019, no-one in the Liberal Democrats seems to think that puts me out of the running for anything. I’m older, and I live in a beautiful bubble of determination and bullheaded refusal to take any hints about how I *should* parent my fourth child. Society has also moved on slightly.

Every time I see Jo Swinson in passing, I mention to her how lovely it is to see her making speeches with baby Gabriel strapped to her front, how much of an inspiration it is to see her forging ahead babies and all. I I forget that I’m living in a bubble hewn from my own experiences.

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The Swinson Surge is under way

So we’re gaining more new members and supporters on the back of Jo Swinson’s compelling speech just after she was elected leader.

1200 by the time she made her rally speech three hours later.

Here’s a selection:

If you are wondering what we mean, watch her speech here.

 

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WATCH LIVE: Jo Swinson’s first rally

Liberal Democrats are gathering in London to welcome Jo Swinson as leader at a rally. Watch it live here.

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In full: Jo Swinson’s first speech as Lib Dem Leader: Don’t just shout at the television, join us and transform our country

Text below:

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And our new leader is…….Jo Swinson

 

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Final chance to vote for Ed or Jo

If you haven’t yet voted in the leadership contest, you had better get your skates on as the ballot closes at 1pm today.

If you are still trying to make up your mind which of our excellent candidates to vote for, our Liberal Democrat Leadership election tag, with our Ed’s Day and Jo’s Day series and other things might help.

Their BBC2 hustings from Friday night is here. 

If you can’t find your ballot paper, you need to email [email protected] quickly for a replacement – but act NOW.

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Jo Swinson MP writes….A campaign we can all be proud of

We are nearly at the end of this Leadership election, with voting closing tomorrow. Regardless of who you’re supporting, I want to thank every member who has engaged with this campaign. Everyone who came to a hustingsmeeting, emailed a question to Ed or to me, posted onto social media or caught up with us on visits – thank you.

There is a golden opportunity ahead of our party now. I have been so excited to see all the new members coming to hustings meetings, hearing their questions, thoughts and ideas. We have a unique offer and vision for the country and people are open to our message. We can continue this growth and build our movement further together. We can stop Brexit and compete to win a General Election.

This campaign has reminded me of how strong our party can be. We have such a range of skilled, talented people working around the country. We still need to do more to harness the incredible knowledge and expertise that we have in our members and supporters. I’ve been really buoyed up by seeing so many local success stories everywhere we have been. I know the new members I have met are going to be adding to those success stories soon too.

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19 July 2019 – live from Brecon, today’s press releases…

  • Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Govt must provide urgent clarity on teachers’ pay
  • Lib Dem legislation to protect victims of crime passes second reading
  • Davey: Govt must fund police pay rise
  • Umunna slams economically incompetent Tories
  • Swinson: This is a time for cool heads in the Gulf

Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens

Today, the Liberal Democrats have brought forward a bill to safeguard EU citizens’ rights.

The Bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates would provide a guarantee that, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the rights of EU citizens and other EEA nationals living in …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarThomas 24th Aug - 5:18am
    For me, I would call myself a non-socialist conservative basher a.k.a a typical New England liberal NYT reader.
  • User AvatarThomas 24th Aug - 4:32am
    Michael BG, Joseph Bourke - I think two of you are the ones should definitely read this article and give comments. https://internetofbusiness.com/south-korea-automated-nation-earth-says-report-uk-nowhere-robotics/ “the UK lags...
  • User AvatarThomas 24th Aug - 4:19am
    TCO - how they will vote is the only thing matter. There were also numerous predictions in 2016 in the US context that Gen Z...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 24th Aug - 1:40am
    Joseph Bourke, I have read widely on UBI. I think you have read my 2018 LDV article - https://www.libdemvoice.org/can-we-afford-a-universal-basic-income-56572.html Malcolm Torry suggests changes to NI...
  • User AvatarJohnny McDermott 24th Aug - 12:12am
    But I wonder if it’s a case of last one holding the bag? Who would challenge decision to revoke even if unconditional? Brexiteers at home...
  • User AvatarMartin 23rd Aug - 11:49pm
    John Marriott: what do you mean by "an ulterior motive"? Perhaps you are suggesting he may have savings or a pension in the UK and...
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