Jo Swinson given tough time over support for Tory policies during coalition years

PUBLISHED: 21:15 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 25 November 2019

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson during the BBC Question Time Leaders' Special. Photograph: Jeff Overs/PA Wire

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Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson during the BBC Question Time Leaders' Special. Photograph: Jeff Overs/PA Wire .

Jo Swinson faced a gruelling reception during her appearance on a leaders' special of BBC Question Time.

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The Liberal Democrat will grilled over her record as a minister in the coalition government which saw her voting in favour of "harsh and uncaring" benefit cuts including the bedroom tax.

Swinson admitted the Liberal Democrats "didn't get everything right" during her years in coalition with the Tories as Fiona Bruce listed her voting record.

One audience member said: "With 14 million UK citizens now living in poverty do you regret voting for harsh and uncaring benefit cuts".

She replied: "Far, far too many people in our country are living in poverty and life is too hard and we did not get everything right."

But Swinson also said the Lib Dems had stopped the Tories from implementing some of the harshest cuts.

She said: "We also had plenty of fights with the Conservatives and we won some of those fights and we lost some of those fights and I am sorry that we did not win more of those fights in coalition."

She added: "We did stop the Conservatives cutting £12bn more from welfare, we did stop them bringing in the two-child cap which they did when they were on their own in 2015.

"I absolutely think we have lessons to learn from that I've learned those lessons."

But Swinson also did not rule out working with the Tories if Boris Johnson was removed from the role of leader.

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