East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson is first female Lib Dem leader

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson
East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has become the first female Liberal Democrat leader, after decisively beating opponent Sir Ed Davey in a poll of party members.

She won 47,997 votes, against her opponent’s 28,021.

The 39-year old, who succeeds Sir Vince Cable, said she was “over the moon” to have been elected and was “ready for the fight of our lives”.

She told activists the UK’s future lay in the European Union and she would do “whatever it takes to stop Brexit”.

Ms Swinson, who has been the party’s deputy leader since 2017, was a business minister in the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition government.

She regained her East Dunbartonshire seat in 2017 after losing it two years earlier to the SNP’s John Nicolson.

According to a BBC report, Ms Swinson appealed to disillusioned Conservative and Labour MPs, saying her “door was always open” to those determined to fight the rise of “nationalism and populism”.

She said: “This is the time for working together. This is not the time for tribalism.”