Jo Swinson stands for post of Lib Dems deputy leader

Written by Tom Freeman on 19 June 2017 in News

Bookie’s favourite for Lib Dem leader opts not to go for position, saying ‘Just because a man would do it, doesn't make it the right thing to do’

Jo Swinson - PA

Jo Swinson has decided not to seek election to be the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, with the East Dumbartonshire MP opting to run for deputy instead.

Swinson, who regained her former seat from the SNP at the general election, had been tipped as favourite to replace Tim Farron by the bookies.

In a blog post on the Lib Dem Voice website, Swinson said she will seek to be the party’s deputy leader instead.


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“When Tim resigned, my instincts told me that the best way I can serve the party at the moment is still as Deputy Leader.  Over the years I’ve learned I should trust my instincts,” she said.

Farron quit last week after he said he could not practice his Christian faith while leader.

Swinson said she had tried to talk him out of the decision.

 “I was stunned when he told me he would be resigning that evening,” she said.

Despite members sending her encouragement to stand, Swinson decided not to seek nomination to become the party’s first female leader.

“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,” she said. 

“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.  But just as often I have observed men going for the promotion when they shouldn’t. 

“Just because a man would do it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”

Former ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Norman Lamb are all expected to throw their hats into the ring.

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