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MP Jo Swinson elected leader of the UK's Liberal Democrats party

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By Emma Beswick
MP Jo Swinson elected leader of the UK's Liberal Democrats party
Copyright  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson has been elected leader of the UK's pro-EU Liberal Democrats party.

"I will do whatever it takes to stop Brexit," the current deputy leader said in her acceptance speech.

Swinson, who has served as an MP for a total of 12 years, will be the first women to lead the party.

She was first elected as MP at the 2005 general election, serving until her defeat by John Nicolson of the Scottish National Party in 2015 but regained the seat at the 2017 snap general election.

The MP said she was "delighted, honoured, over the moon," adding: "Liberalism is alive and thriving."

Swinson succeeds Sir Vince Cable after his two-year tenure.

She was a business minister in the Liberal Democrats-Conservative coalition government.

Swinson told the assembled party members and media that she stood before them as a "candidate for prime minister".

"I am ready to take our party into a general election and win it," she added.

The party live-streamed the announcement on Facebook.

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Publiée par Liberal Democrats sur Lundi 22 juillet 2019

The Liberal Democrats have seen a resurgence in the polls recently with the party's clear anti-Brexit stance helping it come second at the European elections, winning 15% of the vote and 16 MEPs.

It gained over 700 councillors and 10 councils in the UK's local elections in May 2019.

The leadership vote saw a 72% turnout with Swinson winning 47,997 votes to Ed Davey's 28,021.