Swinson rules out Lib Dem leadership bid
Jo Swinson, the bookies’ favourite in the race to succeed Tim Farron as the Liberal Democrat leader, has ruled herself out of the top job.
The former business minister announced she will fight for the deputy leadership instead, saying it is “the right role for me now”.
Swinson said that while most men in her position would “run for leader like a shot”, it did not make such a move the right thing to do.
The East Dunbartonshire MP said: “I have been overwhelmed by so many lovely messages from people I know, and from many members I have not yet met, encouraging me to stand for leader. I am touched and flattered that you look to me and I am determined to play a key role in our party’s leadership.
“Being the leader of a political party is a unique and all-encompassing job, even more than the roles of MP and minister that I have undertaken before. It should not be done simply to achieve status, to make a point, or to please others.
“Feminist that I am, I have of course wondered what a bloke in my position would do. It’s obvious. Most blokes in my shoes would run for leader like a shot. It’s true that my many years of encouraging women to have the confidence to go for that exciting new role have taught me that women often don’t go for things when they should.
“But just as often I have observed men going for the promotion when they shouldn’t. Just because a man would do it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”