Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson won't switch seats to ensure re-election

PUBLISHED: 12:39 27 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 27 October 2019

Jo Swinson speaking on BBC's The Andrew Marr show. Picture: BBC

Jo Swinson speaking on BBC's The Andrew Marr show. Picture: BBC

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MP Jo Swinson denied suggestions from Andrew Marr on his BBC show that she would be tempted to switch to a more secure seat to ensure she is re-elected.

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When asked by BBC's Andrew Marr whether she was concerned her new allies could steal her seat, given East Dunbartonshire is a "key target" for the SNP, Jo Swinson insisted: "Absolutely not".

She said: "I represent East Dunbartonshire, it is the place I grew up, it is my home seat.

"I won it in 2005, I won it back again in 2017 from the SNP and I will never be complacent but I am confident I will win that seat again if the good people of East Dunbartonshire want me to continue being their MP as well as the leader of the Liberal Democrats."

Swinson added that SNP candidate John Nicholson, who took the seat in 2015, had moved elsewhere to seek re-election to the House of Commons.

"He has decided this is not a seat he plans to fight me again in," she said.

The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party joined forces to offer Boris Johnson the chance of a snap general election on December 9.

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Swinson said the prime minister could not be trusted on an election date, despite proposing December 12 for a trip to the polls.

"This is a man who is prepared to say anything," said the pro-EU politician.

"He doesn't do what he says. The advantage of this bill is that it enshrines the date in law."

The East Dunbartonshire MP called on Labour to support her party and its election bid.

She added there was a "time pressure" to secure an election and look to mount the numbers in parliament for a second referendum.

For that reason, the Lib Dems would not be pursuing votes for 16-year-olds during the process of their Bill.

"I recognise the time pressure that we are under right now doesn't give us that luxury - January 31 isn't that far away," said Swinson.

"I think we have to pass this as it is drafted. We cannot assume we will keep getting an extension to Article 50. We do need to resolve this issue."

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