Jo Swinson steps down as UK Lib Dem leader

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson | Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Jo Swinson steps down as UK Lib Dem leader

The pro-EU party is on course to win 12 seats — the same number as they won in 2017.


12/13/19, 7:59 AM CET

Updated 12/13/19, 8:05 AM CET

LONDON — Jo Swinson quit as leader of the Liberal Democrats after a dismal performance in the U.K. general election in which she lost her own seat.

The former MP for East Dunbartonshire, north of Glasgow in Scotland, said the election result was “hugely disappointing.” Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have won the biggest majority for the party since 1987, with around 43 percent of the vote.

Swinson had no option but to stand down because party rules dictate that the leader must be an MP. Deputy Lib Dem leader Ed Davey and President Sal Brinton will become the joint acting leaders of the anti-Brexit party until a leadership contest is concluded.

“I am proud that in this campaign, the Liberal Democrats have stood up for openness, generosity and hope. We were honest about what we believe in and what we were trying to achieve,” Swinson said.

Brinton added: “In the weeks ahead we will elect a new leader and our party will continue to be the rallying point for anyone who believes in a country where everyone has the chance to get on in life.”

The Lib Dems are on course to win 12 seats at the election — the same number as they won in 2017.

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