Jo Swinson has brought confidence to the Lib Dems - but inflexibility could be her downfall

PUBLISHED: 15:26 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:26 22 November 2019

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (right). Photograph Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (right). Photograph Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Jo Swinson's failure to find some common ground with the Labour leadership is a problem for those wanting to stop a Tory Brexit, says one reader.

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Full marks to Tim Walker, AKA Mandrake, for standing down in Canterbury in favour of the Remainer MP Rosie Duffield ("My troubled Canterbury tale", TNE #169). It's a pity that his party (and mine) didn't agree.

Jo Swinson has brought confidence and boldness to the Lib Dem leadership but can be inflexible, and on this one the Lib Dem leadership is missing the bigger picture. Not standing does not endorse Corbyn or signal a wider pact with Labour but would have given a message that the Lib Dems want to move towards a different type of politics - more inclusive and less party-orientated.

The Unite to Remain campaign which included the Lib Dems was a good start but didn't go far enough. There is a large mass of centre voters in the country who are not party-orientated but want to back progressive MPs who care.

Like Tim, I lament the retirement of many such MPs from the last parliament - our response has to be to keep supporting progressive and pro-European causes and hope the tide turns.

Richard Elliott, London SE23

There is a very good reason that Jo Swinson has not moved towards a 'Remain Alliance' with Labour: The catastrophic and doomed leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, which she would have been seen to be propping up.

The Conservatives would have tied Swinson to Corbyn in the public mind and taken her down with him.

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It is hard enough for the Lib Dems to achieve cut-through in this campaign when their leader is excluded from TV debates. The many points of difference between the Lib Dems and Labour would have been smothered completely in an alliance.

How could she link arms with someone whose true beliefs about Brexit are closer to those of Len McCluskey than Keir Starmer?

Alice Tyler, Birmingham

Given Jeremy Corbyn's track record in regard to the EU, it strikes me as foolish for any Remainer to vote Labour in this election. I would strongly suggest that the best possible tactical voting strategy for this election is for all Remainers to vote Lib Dem.

If all 16+ million of us vote for the party, then we'll return a Lib Dem majority to Parliament and Article 50 will be revoked. Brexit will be cancelled.

It's a high-risk strategy, but there's nothing left to lose, so why not give it a try? Corbyn doesn't want to keep the UK in the EU any more than Boris Johnson does, so what's the point in any Remainers voting for either of their parties?

Michael Haldane

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