JO Swinson is the first female Liberal Democrats leader, and their youngest leader ever.
She has vowed to “cancel” Brexit if her party gets into power – but recently came under fire when her voting record came to light, and it was revealed she had previously backed a referendum. Read on to find out everything we know about the Lib Dem leader.
Who is Jo Swinson?
The 39-year-old is MP for East Dunbartonshire and a former equalities minister in the Coalition Government.
She was born in the west coast of Scotland and was educated at a comprehensive before studying at the London School of Economics.
After graduating with a first class degree in Management, she worked for a radio station in Hull.
A member of the Liberal Democrats since the age of 17, Swinson unsuccessfully stood for Parliament at the 2001 General Election, but was elected in 2005.
At the time she was the youngest MP in the House of Commons and went on to become a junior employment minister in David Cameron’s Government.
She was one of 28 Lib Dem MPs who voted for tuition fees.
She lost her seat at the 2015 general election to the SNP but won it back in 2017.
Swinson is currently her party’s Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
She is a staunch supporter of a second referendum on EU membership and has said: “Every Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.”
Jo Swinson’s husband is fellow Lib Dem, Duncan Hames.
The pair married in a humanist ceremony in 2011, and have two children together.
What is Jo Swinson’s voting record?
Jo Swinson came under fire recently when it was revealed that she had previously backed a referendum.
Footage was shared on social media of Swinson saying: “The Liberal Democrats would like to have a referendum on the major issue of whether we are in or out of Europe.”
Footage showed Jo Swinson in 2008 demanding an “in or out referendum” on Britain’s membership of the EU, eight years before the vote on the EU took place.
The video surfaced after Swinson claimed she didn’t “forgive” David Cameron for calling the EU referendum at a recent Liberal Democrats party conference.
When did she become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats?
The official results were announced on July 22, 2019.
She received more than 50 per cent of the vote.
Swinson said she was “over the moon” to have been elected and was “ready for the fight of our lives”.
Current party leader Sir Vince Cable is stepping down, allowing for her to fill his shoes.
Swinson faced competition from former Energy Secretary Sir Ed Davey, who had also put his name in the ring.
Lib Dem leadership candidates must be an MP supported by at least 200 members spread across at least 20 different local parties.
They must also have the backing of 10 per cent of the parliamentary party, which currently stands at 11 MPs.
Lib Dem members had the final say on who became leader.
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She said: “This country is crying out for a liberal movement that will challenge the forces of nationalism and populism.
“The Liberal Democrats need to be at the heart of that movement and I’m the person to lead it”.
A YouGov poll which asked voters what party they would back if a general election was held now, was topped by the Lib Dems on 24 per cent, ahead of the Brexit Party on 22 per cent.
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