| 23.07,19. 10:34 AM |
UK: Opposition Liberal Democrats choose new leader
Britain’s pro-EU opposition Liberal Democrats elected Jo Swinson its new leader .
Swinson, the party’s former deputy leader, won 47,900 votes from her party colleagues, easily defeating rival Ed Davey, the party’s spokesman for home affairs, who got 28,021 votes.
In May, veteran leader Sir Vince Cable announced he would step down following pressure from party colleagues who questioned his performance as leader. Cable had taken over from Tim Farron in 2017 following the party’s poor performance in the general election.
Cable, however, led the Lib Democrats resurgence in May’s local elections, in which they gained more than 10 councils and 700 councillors.
Following that success, the party put on a strong performance in the EU parliament elections later that month, campaigning on an anti-Brexit platform and coming second with a 15% share of the vote and gaining 16 MEPs.
In June, former Labour MP Chuka Ummuna, a founding member of the new Change U.K. party, defected to the Liberal Democrats and was appointed treasury secretary. The party is expected to receive more defectors from Change U.K. as well as others from the Tories and Labour.
The party has positioned itself as the main anti-Brexit and pro-EU party in the U.K. and has in recent months gained the support of pro-EU supporters who traditionally voted for the Conservative and Labour parties.