Sunderland Liberal Democrats welcome new leader Jo Swinson - and invite her to visit Wearside soon

Liberal Democrats in Sunderland have welcomed the election of Jo Swinson as their party’s new leader – and urged her to visit Wearside soon.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd July 2019, 5:45 pm
Jo Swinson (right), arrives at Proud Embankment, London, where the announcement was made that she has been chosen as the new Liberal Democrat leader to replace Sir Vince Cable. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The MP beat former cabinet member Sir Ed Davey to replace Sir Vince Cable at the helm of the Lib Dems.

Ms Swinson, an ex-minister, had been the bookies' favourite to take the party crown.

Niall Hodson, the leader of the Lib Dem group of councillors on Sunderland City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Jo Swinson has been elected as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

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“The party is on the up nationally, topping opinion polls and having sensational results in the recent European and local council elections a few weeks ago.

“I have no doubt that Jo Swinson will help make sure we build on these successes.”

He added: “I’ll be joining Jo Swinson in demanding better for our country, in working to make sure our jobs and prosperity on Wearside aren’t put at risk by a botched Brexit from a Conservative party that have no interest in doing what is right for the North East of England.”

Mr Hodson also thanked outgoing leader Sir Vince Cable who he said has overseen a turn in fortunes for our party over the past few years.

“He’s been a good friend to Wearside Liberal Democrats, offering us support and encouragement, as well as visiting Sunderland University in 2017 to see the excellent work being done for students and businesses in our city,” said Coun Hodson.

“I hope that Jo Swinson will follow in his footsteps and will be visiting Sunderland soon.”

Ms Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, has served as Sir Vince's deputy since June 2017.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Sir Ed served as energy secretary in the coalition government under David Cameron.

Ms Swinson triumphed in a ballot of party members as the Lib Dems are enjoying a revival due to their outspoken opposition to Brexit.

The party has 12 MPs - bolstered by Chuka Umunna's decision to join last month - and came second in the European elections, winning 20% of the vote share.