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Swinson: I will remain Lib Dem leader even if we make no major gains in election

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson playing tennis as she visits Shinfield Tennis Club. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Jo Swinson has insisted she will remain Liberal Democrat leader even if the party fails to make significant gains in the General Election.

Ms Swinson said people had confidence in her leadership and the party was running a strong campaign, despite the Lib Dems slipping to the low to mid-teens in the opinion polls.

Asked if she would stand down if the party did not make major gains, Ms Swinson told the PA news agency: “No, because I have just been elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats four months ago with an overwhelming majority.

“We have got more members than we have ever had before and we are running a strong campaign.

Jo Swinson takes part in a tennis training session during a campaign visit to Reading. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

“So, people have got confidence in my leadership and I’m excited to be doing the job.”

Ms Swinson expressed concern regarding suggestions the emergence of documents Labour said were proof the Tories are planning to sell the NHS in a US Brexit deal could have Russian connections.

The Lib Dem leader told PA: “I’m really concerned.

“All of us should be concerned if a foreign country is trying to interfere in our democracy.

“And that is why it is so appalling that the Prime Minister is sitting on a report that was written weeks before the General Election, that the Security Committee say should be published, into interference in UK democracy by foreign countries like Russia.

The visit to a tennis club was intended to promote the Lib Dems’ policies on tackling child obesity and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

“He should have published that report.

“He is keeping it secret and it has to lead people to wonder what he has got to hide.”

Meanwhile, Ms Swinson took part in a tennis training session during a campaign visit to Reading.

Returning volleys from a tennis coach, some of her shots hit photographers.

Ms Swinson joked: “That was really good fun, and I hit a few of you guys from the press.”

The visit to a tennis club was intended to promote the Lib Dems’ policies on tackling child obesity and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.