Charlie Mullins on Jo Swinson, the new leader of Her Majesty’s true opposition.

First published in July 2019.

With all the excitement surrounding the election and elevation of Boris Johnson into Number 10, I think it’s hugely important to congratulate Jo Swinson on becoming the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Jo’s election to the top job is an excellent move for a party which under Vince Cable’s leadership has staged a remarkable comeback in its fortunes, to the point where it is the only credible opposition in the House of Commons.

Seriously, I think the Lib Dems are now in all but name the main concerted force in Parliament, and I have to say that while politically I am still a Tory at heart, I can’t help but believe that our democracy is a far healthier institution with a strong Liberal Democrats party under Jo Swinson, keeping Boris and the Conservatives on their toes.

It’s certainly true that Labour under Corbyn is a pointless force, with party members pulling in so many different ways that it’s not really even a party any more.

On the other hand, I was fortunate enough to attend the Lib Dems Conference last year in Brighton, and I was impressed at the family spirit there was, from the grassroot members, to local councillors, MPs and MEPs.

I also had the opportunity to meet Jo Swinson at a party dinner, hosted by Vince Cable for party supporters (as I was backing their ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ stance) and found her a class act, with the gravitas and intellect to take the party to a new level.

So, there is no doubt in my mind that they have the party machine and the support to be a power for good in our democracy at a time when we so desperately need it.🔷

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[This piece was originally published on 26 July 2019 on the Pimlico blog. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Liberal Democrats. - Jo Swinson at the People's Vote March. | 23 March 2019. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)