Jo Swinson, who led the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats’ election campaign, is stepping down as leader after losing her seat in Britain’s general election, a party statement says.
“The Liberal Democrats have this morning confirmed that Ed Davey MP and Baroness Sal Brinton will become the joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats,” the statement, carried by the PA news agency and other media, said.
“A leadership election will take place in the new year.”
Brinton praised Swinson, who lost out to an SNP candidate in the Scottish constituency of East Dunbartonshire by 149 votes, for her “honest and fearless leadership.”
Britain’s anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party named lawmaker Jo Swinson as its new leader in July, as the party looked to translate a surge in voter support for its pro-European Union agenda into influence in a deadlocked parliament.
Her nomination came a day before Britain’s governing Conservatives were expected to name Boris Johnson as leader and prime minister – a man who had pledged to take the country out of the EU on Oct. 31 “do or die”.
But, the future of Brexit hung in the balance, without a clear majority in parliament behind Johnson and deep division over how, when, and even if, Britain should follow through on its 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU.
Swinson, the party’s first female leader, had built her campaign around cementing the Liberal Democrats as the rallying point for those from across the traditional political spectrum who are opposed to Brexit.
“We believe the UK’s best future is as members of the European Union, and that’s why, as your leader, I will do whatever it takes to stop Brexit,” she said.
Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim