Jo Swinson apologises for welfare cuts during Tory-Lib Dem coalition

PUBLISHED: 19:49 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:50 05 December 2019

Jo Swinson is interviewed by Andrew Neil. Photograph: BBC.

Jo Swinson is interviewed by Andrew Neil. Photograph: BBC.

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Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has apologised for the welfare cuts her party backed when it was in power with the Conservatives.

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Swinson said that "too much" was cut in the years of the coalition government, during which she was a minister.

She told BBC One's Andrew Neil: "Clearly too much was cut. Clearly not enough was raised from taxation.

"Some cuts were necessary, but the shape of those cuts and certainly the balance between cuts and tax rises, I don't think was the right balance."

Asked if she would apologise for supporting the bedroom tax in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition - one of the most hated policies of the coalition - Swinson said: "Yes, I am sorry that I did that. It was not the right policy and we should have stopped it.

"And our manifesto makes clear that that should be scrapped."

She added: "I am sorry about that. It was one of the things that we did get wrong.

"We did spend five years in a coalition government where clearly we didn't win every battle against the Conservatives.

"We fought many battles, and we did win many battles for more money for schools, for more money for the poorest pupils.

"There are many things that I am very proud of and where we made a difference, but of course there are things where we didn't win those battles, and I am sorry about that."

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