Nicola Sturgeon denies celebrating Jo Swinson's election defeat to SNP

14 December 2019, 16:08

By Maddie Goodfellow

The SNP leader has denied celebrating when Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon said she was instead "celebrating Amy Callaghan's victory" after she was filmed celebrating the SNP victory the East Dunbartonshire seat from Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson.

Ms Sturgeon told LBC News: "I wasn't celebrating particularly that Jo Swinson had lost her seat, I was celebrating the fact that my party against all of the odds had just won a seat and in particular celebrating Amy's victory.

"Amy's a young woman, 27-years-old, she's overcome a lot of adversity in her own life.

"And she fought a brilliant, spirited, gutsy campaign and defied the odds to take that seat. She was one of the stars of the election campaign."

Her comments come after a Liberal Democrat MP called the victory "unacceptably ungracious".

Ms Sturgeon was about to give an interview to journalists when she learnt the news Ms Swinson had lost her seat.

As cheers echoed around the hall she was in, Mrs Sturgeon looked at a monitor in front of her as a huge grin broke out across her face and she shook both her fists in the air.

The clip appeared to show Nicola Sturgeon celebrating Jo Swinson losing her seat
The clip appeared to show Nicola Sturgeon celebrating Jo Swinson losing her seat. Picture: LBC News / PA

Speaking to LBC News, Ms Sturgeon also said that she had a "relatively brief conversation" with Prime Minister Boris Johnson after his party increased their majority to 80 seats.

She said: "I'm not sure either of us had had a chance to catch up with sleep since the election results.

"But I congratulated him on the mandate he won and made it very clear that I expect him to respect the mandate that I won.

"I was not sure I had the chance to catch up with the full reality of the Scottish election results, I was able to take him through the defeat for the Scottish conservatives having fought as they did the election on the single issue of opposition to an independence referendum."

The SNP leader continued: "I'm sure that the Scottish Tories and the Tories generally will rage against the reality of what happened on Thursday.

"But it's very clear that Scotland has chosen a different path to that chosen by much of the rest of the UK. Scotland doesn't want a Boris Johnson government.

"We said no to Brexit and we want our future to be in our own hands and history tells us that the Tories tried to block the will of the Scottish people but as we saw over the campaign for the Scottish Parliament, ultimately they don't prevail. And that will be the same this time too."

When asked about a second Scottish independence referendum, Ms Sturgeon said: "Well, next week, of course, and this was pre-planned before the election, the legislation in the Scottish Parliament to pave the way for a referendum will complete its process.

"I also said yesterday that we will set out the democratic case for the transfer of power to put a referendum beyond legal doubt.

She also stated: "I have a mandate to do that I had a mandate before this election, but there is no doubt now that that is a strengthened, renewed and reinforced mandates and that should be respected.

Boris Johnson and I will no doubt continue to take diametrically opposed positions on the question of whether or not Scotland should be independent that is perfectly legitimate, but it's not him or I for that matter that should decide that, it's the people of Scotland that should to say that and the people of Scotland will decided it."