General election: Jo Swinson brands Boris Johnson serial liar at Liberal Democrat manifesto launch

20 November 2019, 18:28 | Updated: 20 November 2019, 22:03

Jo Swinson has accused Boris Johnson of being a serial liar, as she unveiled the Liberal Democrats' general election manifesto.

She attacked the Conservative Party leader by insisting "Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson, and he'll say and do whatever it takes to keep him in Number 10".

"This is a man who lied to the Queen, who has lied to you before and he's lying to you now," Ms Swinson added, in reference to the Supreme Court's ruling in September that the prime minister unlawfully suspended parliament.

She branded Mr Johnson "deluded" for thinking he can strike a trade deal with the EU in less than a year, and fumed Labour's Jeremy Corbyn "still won't answer" the "biggest question of the election" over how he will campaign in a second referendum.

"Elections are about choosing the kind of country you want to build," the Lib Dem leader declared in a speech to activists in central London.

"A man who refuses to tell you what that looks like doesn't deserve your vote."

Mr Corbyn refused yesterday to say whether he and Labour would campaign for remaining in the EU or their own Brexit deal in a referendum called if he wins the keys to Downing Street on Thursday 12 December.

The Lib Dems' announced their plans to invest a "Remain bonus" into education, the environment and welfare in a 96-page manifesto officially unveiled by Ms Swinson on Wednesday.

Other pledges include £10bn to recruit an extra 20,000 teachers and pay them more with a higher starting salary, and free universal childcare for children aged two to four years old.

The party has set a target to tackle what they call the "climate emergency" by generating 80% of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and want to overhaul the system of air passenger duty, so the amount people pay is related to the number of times people fly.

They say more funding will come from a 1p increase to income tax, which would be ring-fenced for health and social care.

Ms Swinson put her pledge to cancel Brexit if the Lib Dems' win a majority at the heart of her pitch.

"There is no form of Brexit that will be good for the future of our country," she said.

"It would put our jobs at risk, hurt our NHS, reduce our environmental protection, threaten workers' rights, and it would make us less safe.

"Whether Brexit is done by Boris Johnson, or sorted by Jeremy Corbyn, they are both gambling with your future."

James Cleverly, chair of the Conservatives, said the Lib Dems' "only offer to the people is a plan to stop Brexit".

He added: "Only Boris Johnson and a majority Conservative government will get Brexit done so the country can move forward, unleash Britain's potential and focus on our police, hospitals and schools."

Mr Corbyn last night said Britain was facing "a once-in-a-generation election to end privatisation and give the National Health Service the funding it needs - to give people the final say and get Brexit sorted".

The Brexit Election on Sky News - the fastest results and in-depth analysis on mobile, TV and radio

  • Watch Dermot Murnaghan live from 9pm on 12 December
  • See the exit poll at 10pm
  • Watch KayBurley@Breakfast election special on 13 December
  • Find out what happens next in All Out Politics special from 9am with Adam Boulton