Published: Wed, July 24, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Jo Swinson slams Boris Johnson in Lib Dem victory speech

Jo Swinson slams Boris Johnson in Lib Dem victory speech

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has become the first female Liberal Democrat leader, after decisively beating opponent Sir Ed Davey in a poll of party members.

"You have put your trust in me not only to lead our party but also lead and grow the open liberal movement that our country so desperately needs", she said. In her victory speech she launched a withering assessment of Conservative MP Boris Johnson, the likely victor of this week's other party leadership contest, saying he was "unfit to be prime minister".

Swinson, the party's former deputy leader, won 47,900 votes from her party colleagues, easily defeating rival Ed Davey, the party's spokesman for home affairs, who got 28,021 votes.

Swinson, who as Employment Minister in the 2010-2015 Conservative-Liberal coalition government opposed legally enforceable gender quotas and was supportive of zero hour contacts, talked up her feminist credentials and said that the United Kingdom needed to tackle in-work poverty.

Ms Swinson, an ex-minister, had been the bookies' favourite to take the party crown.

In the local elections, the Lib Dems gained more than 700 councillors and 10 councils, while at the European elections soon afterwards the party's strongly anti-Brexit stance helped it come second, with a 15% share of the vote and 16 MEPs.

"There are those out there who think liberalism has had its day..."

"But Jeremy Corbyn is a Brexiteer, he can not be trusted on Brexit, that has become abundantly clear".

"That job starts with winning the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to bring Jane Dodds to Parliament, cut Johnson's wafer-thin majority and take us a step closer to stopping Brexit".

She said the 2014 referendum campaign in Scotland "had heralded a new politics, but not in a good way". On Monday, Swinson urged members of other parties to work with the Liberal Democrats to oppose Brexit and populists.

Despite the Conservatives commanding a razor-thin majority in parliament, Johnson says he intends to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a divorce deal.

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