Jo Swinson joins race to become next Liberal Democrat leader
Jo Swinson has joined the race to become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.
The party’s deputy leader confirmed her bid on the BBC’s Question Time, hours after Ed Davey became the first candidate to announce he was running to succeed Vince Cable.
The East Dunbartonshire MP told the programme: “Yes I am going to stand to be the leader of the Lib Dems.
“I’ll set out my plans tomorrow but I happen to think that 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.”
Ms Swinson, a former business minister in the last coalition government, made her announcement as a new opinion poll put the Lib Dems in the lead for the first time in nine years.
She lost her seat at the 2015 election to the SNP, before winning it back two years later.
Sir Ed Davey, who served as Energy Secretary in David Cameron’s administration, launched his pitch with a commitment to keep the party out of any similar coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.
Layla Moran, Lib Dem education spokeswoman, had been expected to run for the leadership but surprised Westminster earlier this month by announcing she would not be doing so.
The Lib Dems are currently on a high, having come second in last week's European elections and making major gains in the local elections.
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