Former Labour MP Luciana Berger joins the Liberal Democrats in fresh boost for Jo Swinson

Posted On: 
5th September 2019

Former Labour and Change UK MP Luciana Berger has joined the Liberal Democrats, in another boost for leader Jo Swinson.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Luciana Berger
Credit: 
PA Images

The Liverpool Wavertree MP, who has sat as an independent since June, said her decision came amid a “moment of national crisis” over Brexit.

Her move comes 24 hours after former Tory minister Philip Lee also joined the Lib Dems after accusing the Government of "aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways".

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Fellow ex-Change UK MPs Chuka Umunna and Sarah Wollaston have also joined the party in recent months, bringing the total number of Lib Dem MPs to 16.

Ms Berger said: “This is a moment of national crisis. The Liberal Democrats are unequivocal in wanting to stop Brexit and are committed to securing Britain’s future as a tolerant, open and inclusive society. 

“I am joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats today, in the national interest, to offer a vital, positive alternative to Johnson and Corbyn and help build a future that our country deserves.”

The Jewish MP quit Labour in February after becoming "embarrassed and ashamed" of the party over the leadership's handling of its anti-semitism crisis.

She was among the seven MPs who founded Change UK, but left the pro-EU outfit in the weeks following its poor European election performance.

Ms Swinson said of Ms Berger's defection: “Luciana is a passionate advocate for women’s and LGBT+ rights, and she’s at the forefront of efforts to counter anti-Semitism and prevent discrimination.

"I’m delighted to welcome her to the Liberal Democrats, where we can work together to stop Brexit and build a fairer, more equal society for all.

“Luciana becomes the fourth MP in three months to cross the floor and join the Liberal Democrats. We’re thrilled to add her perspective, expertise and skills to our ever-growing parliamentary team.

“The Liberal Democrats are growing in strength as we lead the fight to Stop Brexit altogether. We are fully behind a People’s Vote, and we are the rallying point for Remainers and the liberal centre ground.”