Jo Swinson hits back at Michael Gove over EU citizens voting in new referendum

PUBLISHED: 15:53 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:00 06 December 2019

Former Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images.

Former Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

After Michael Gove said EU nationals should not get a vote in a second referendum, Jo Swinson has said it would be the democratic thing do to.

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The Liberal Democrat leader rejected claims that doing this would move the goalposts politically, after Michael Gove compared it to fielding an extra player on a rugby team.

Swinson told the PA news agency: "I think it's right that people who are directly affected by this issue should be able to vote.

"I think EU nationals should be able to vote in elections. I think 16 and 17-year-olds should be able to vote in elections.

"So, I will continue to campaign for that."

MORE: Michael Gove compares EU citizens in a People's Vote to extra rugby players on the team

Swinson told PA that John Major's recent calls to shun voting for Boris Johnson demonstrates widespread unease about the prime minister within his own party.

She said: "I think it's interesting to see figures from the Conservative Party who clearly are very concerned at the direction Boris Johnson is taking the Conservatives.

"We see what John Major has said, we also see what Michael Heseltine has said when he came out and backed some Lib Dem candidates."

WATCH: John Major urges public to vote against Tories in blow to Boris Johnson

Swinson, who visited a play group in order to push the Lib Dem childcare policy, said Brexit would mean neither the Tories or Labour would be able to deliver their spending pledges.

She said: "It is very important to recognise that being able to pay for investment, whether it's in childcare or schools or the NHS, is largely dependent on remaining in the European Union because the long list of policy wish-lists from Conservatives and Labour, if we leave the EU there will just not be the money to pay for them."

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