Jo Swinson 'proud' to lead party as she hints at prospective future Liberal Democrat leader

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Rachel Younger

Former Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has said she is "proud the Liberal Democrats were the unapologetic voice of Remain" in the election and "does not regret trying everything" to avoid Brexit.

The now unseated MP said, in a speech in central London, that "smashing the glass ceiling" by becoming the party's first female leader had meant "a lot of broken glass comes down on your head".

She has been forced to quit her role at the head of the party after losing her place in the Commons, due to Liberal Democrat rules which dictate its leader must be an MP.

The party will now look for a new person to steer it, a position at which Ms Swinson hinted there could be some already in stead to take the reigns.

She alluded to the "experience" of current Lib Dem spokeswomen, including Layla Moran, Christine Jardine, Wera Hobhouse and Sarah Olney as women who could lead the party.

She added: "They will take the Commons by storm."

Jo Swinson joined the Liberal Democrats as a teenager in Scotland. She went on to represent the constituency she grew up in, East Dunbartonshire, in the House of Commons.

She led the party into the General Election with a pro-remain message, but it wasn't enough to secure a strong backing.

Reflecting on her party's performance, Ms Swinson said: "Though I won't be your leader, I will be walking alongside you.

"We will reflect, regroup and refresh.

"We must continue to grow our Liberal movement, both attracting Lib Dem members and by reaching out to work with those who share our values wherever they are."

Jo Swinson has stood down as party leader after losing her seat. Credit: PA

Jo Swinson isn't the only party leader backed into a corner over dismal election results.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced he too will stand down over the party's performance at the ballot box, which saw it secure just 203 seats - well under the Tory majority of 364.

In his first major interview since he saw a humbling night for his candidates, Mr Corbyn said he was "very sad" about the result - but warned many areas in the country would continue to suffer under the Conservatives.