Jo Swinson: ‘We can win, we must win’

The party leader received a standing ovation

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson received a standing ovation as she promised to “win a brighter future” in her closing speech at the party’s autumn conference.

The new leader took the stage in Bournemouth to reiterate her party’s position on Brexit and outline policy on issues including climate change, knife crime and mental health.

She said she was there as Lib Dem candidate for Prime Minister, saying there was “no limit to my ambition for our party”.

Ms Swinson told her party: “We can win, we must win.

“Liberal Democrats, we can build the broad, open, liberal movement our country needs.

“We can defeat nationalism and populism; we can change our politics, stop Brexit and win a brighter future.”

Opening her address, Ms Swinson acknowledged the seven MPs to have recently joined the party, saying that the Liberal Democrats had become a “clear rallying point for change”.

On Brexit, Ms Swinson once again reiterated her pledge to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit “on day one”, should she win a majority in a general election.

She slammed Boris Johnson for not having “bothered” to visit the Irish border and accused him of “silencing critics, purging opponents, ignoring the law”.

Jeremy Corbyn did not escape unscathed by Ms Swinson, who criticised his vote to trigger Article 50 back in 2016.

“Nigel Farage might be Brexit by name but it is very clear that Jeremy Corbyn is Brexit by nature,” she told the crowd of her fellow party members.

Ms Swinson also made promises on wider government issues.

She said her party would introduce “climate risk reporting” to tackle the “existential threat” of climate change, as well as a “wellbeing budget”, to outline public spending “for the things that matter most”.

She also promised to tackle knife crime and ring fence funding for mental health services.

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