Jo Swinson will NOT stand to be Lib Dem leader

Posted On: 
19th June 2017

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson last night ruled herself out of the race to be the party’s next leader despite being tipped to succeed Tim Farron.

Tim Farron and Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats
PA Images

The East Dunbartonshire MP – who won her seat back from the SNP at the general election – declared she would run for the new deputy leader post instead.

She said she had been “overwhelmed” by calls to enter the race but signalled she was not yet ready for the top job and would consider a bid in the future.

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Mr Farron dramatically stepped down last week saying it was “impossible” for him to reconcile his Christian beliefs with leading the party.

He came under fire during the election campaign for his views on homosexuality and comments he made in the past about abortion.

In a blog post last night, Ms Swinson said: "Being the leader of a political party is a unique and all-encompassing job, even more than the roles of MP and minister that I have undertaken before.

"It should not be done simply to achieve status, to make a point, or to please others."

She added: "Feminist that I am, I have of course wondered what a bloke in my position would do. It's obvious.

"Most blokes in my shoes would run for leader like a shot.

"It's true that my many years of encouraging women to have the confidence to go for that exciting new role have taught me that women often don't go for things when they should.,,

"Just because a man would do it, doesn't make it the right thing to do."

Ms Swinson had been the bookmakers’ favourite for the top job, with ex-ministers Sir Ed Davey and Norman Lamb expected to stand, as well as ex-business secretary Vince Cable.