Jo Swinson Voted New Lib Dem Leader

22 July 2019, 16:51 | Updated: 22 July 2019, 16:56

Ed Davey and Jo Swinson are in the running to replace Sir Vince Cable
Jo Swinson beat Ed Davey to replace Sir Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader. Picture: PA

Jo Swinson made history by becoming the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats. She beat Sir Ed Davey in the leadership contest and replaces former leader Sir Vince Cable.

Jo Swinson has been voted the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. She won more than 47,000 of the 76,429 votes cast compared to her rival Ed Davey's 28,021.

Ms Swinson said: "I am delighted, honoured, absolutely over the moon to stand before you as the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Earlier today postal votes cast were split "almost 50-50" between Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey, according to party sources.

A Lib Dem source said: “Postal ballots were counted and verified on Friday. There was a major surprise as it showed an almost exact 50-50 split, although Swinson is the clear bookies favourite.”

The Liberal Democrats began the process of choosing their next leader in May, as Sir Vince - who has served as leader since July 2017 - announced he would be handing over a "bigger, stronger party".

Who were the Lib Dem candidates?

Jo Swinson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, has been the party's deputy leader for two years and is the bookmakers' favourite.

When she announced her candidacy, Jo Swinson said the country was "crying out" for a movement "to challenge the forces of nationalism and populism".

"The Liberal Democrats need to be at the heart of that movement and I'm the person to lead it," she added.

She was up against ex-energy secretary Sir Ed, MP for Kingston and Surbiton

When he set out his plans, Sir Ed said the country needed "a new economic model".

He added: "I'm talking about de-carbonising capitalism, making capitalism turn green so Britain is a world green finance capital."

Both candidates backed another EU referendum.