Former Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson encouraged to take Holyrood role

Jo Swinson appears in front of EU flags and Lib Dem signs. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

Jo Swinson appears in front of EU flags and Lib Dem signs. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is being encouraged to return to frontline politics in a move that would take her to Holyrood.

Last month The Press and Journal claimed that Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie was planning to step down to allow the former East Dunbartonshire MP to take the job.

But Rennie dismissed the reports, but said he was trying to entice Swinson to run in next year's Scottish elections.

He told the PA news agency: I would love to see Jo come to the Scottish parliament, I think she's talented. I was keen to encourage her to stay involved and for her to consider the Scottish parliament as one of those options.

'She's not made her mind up about that but I think she's talented and would be great to have. It's too early for her to leave the political scene; I hope she does do it [stand for Holyrood].'

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Rennie said that he has no intention of quitting as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, despite next year marking his tenth year as leader.

He said: 'Anybody who has been leader for nine years would look at a ten-year period to look at what they're going to do next, but I've got no intention of standing down.

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'This is a big opportunity, for somebody who has been around in politics for a while now, just to try to shape things to be a little bit different.'

Jo Swinson is yet to make a decision on her future, he added.

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