LibDem leader’s supporters attempt to defend her absence from democracy protests backfires badly
LibDem leader Jo Swinson has been heavily criticised for being absent from any of yesterday’s protests against Boris Johnson’s ‘prorogation’ of Parliament because she was on holiday. In spite of her own and her party’s lack of activity during the 2016 referendum, Ms Swinson has previously – and completely inaccurately – criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for taking a holiday during the 2016 referendum campaign.
Ms Swinson’s supporters attempted to deny that she was on holiday by pointing out that she was in London yesterday to speak to a meeting of the Young Liberals – but unfortunately for them, this has backfired in a big way.
Swinson was in London – on Saturday morning, with the Young Liberals tweeting their pride at her presence as she spoke – at 10.51am:
However, the event appears to have been over in plenty of time for Young Liberals to attend the London march against Johnson’s suspension of Parliament – which also featured on Twitter:
The LibDems press office has already confirmed that Swinson was on holiday and absent from the march – so the attempts to deny she was on holiday have only made her absence worse.
Ms Swinson was in London only a few hours before the protest – and then left to go on holiday, leaving protesters to get on with it.
Compounding her decision, Swinson tweeted on Saturday evening about how ‘hopeful’ the attendance at protest marches around the UK made her feel – a tweet that triggered an avalanche of derision:
Swinson reportedly went to her holiday home in Dordogne. The LibDem press office promised confirmation of her destination today, along with answers on why Jo Swinson left before the march and how she travelled, but the promised responses were not provided and follow-up calls were not returned.
Swinson is, of course, entitled to take a family holiday. However, given her recent and unfounded attempt to attack Corbyn for a holiday he didn’t take during the 2016 referendum, her decision to skip yesterday’s march to do so is a huge blunder and the criticism she has attracted is entirely merited.
Even more so since her supporters helpfully pointed out that she was in the vicinity yesterday morning.
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