Swinson, Jo



Having first joined the Liberal Democrats at 17, Jo Swinson entered Parliament as a 28-year-old at the 2005 General Election.

As the first MP at the time to have been born in the 1980s, Swinson had a head start on many of her colleagues.

In 2019, still only 39, Swinson was elected the youngest and first female leader of the Liberal Democrats. Much to the delight of the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, at the time, Swinson lost her East Dumbartonshire seat to the SNP at the 2019 General Election.

Jo Swinson

Being Party Leader, did not stop Swinson losing her seat in 2019.

What is Jo Swinson doing now?

Six-and-a-half months after her rejection by the voters in East Dunbartonshire, Swinson accepted the position of Visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management.

Upon taking up the position, Swinson said: ‘I’m delighted to be joining Cranfield School of Management and I’m looking forward to helping develop their thinking on issues that I have championed throughout my career such as gender equality and the role of technology in the workplace’.

Swinson has also become the Director of ‘Partner 4 New Economy’, an international donor collaborative that wants the economic system to generate positive environmental and social outcomes.

Liberal Democrat Leader

On the 22nd of July 2019, Swinson was comfortably elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats over then rival Sir Ed Davey.

Swinson’s short period in charge was a tumultuous one.

As Leader, Swinson continued to associate the Liberal Democrat Party with the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign for a second referendum on Brexit, doing so in the expectation of attracting pro-EU supporters at the ensuing General election.

When that election was called in December 2019, Swinson continued to champion ‘Remain’ even promising to revoke Article 50 if the Lib Dems were elected with a Majority. Throughout the campaign, Swinson pushed herself as a potential Prime Minister.

However, on election night it became clear that the Lib Dems had lost seats – including Swinson losing her own seat in East Dunbartonshire. As she was no longer an MP, Liberal Democrat rules forced her to stand down as Lib Dem leader.

Political Career

Jo Swinson initially first stood for Parliament at the age of just 21, contesting the Hull seat that was then occupied by then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.

First elected as the youngest MP or ‘baby of the house’ in 2005, Swinson wasted no time in becoming a prominent Lib Dem voice. Swinson served variously as Lib Dem Spokesperson for Scotland, Foreign affairs, and Women and Equality.

From 2017-2019, Swinson was the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader.

In the Conservative – Liberal coalition years between 2010 and 2015, Swinson served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and later as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs.

In 2015, along with 48 other Liberal Democrat MPs, Swinson lost her seat. However, she was re-elected at the 2017 election, restarting her Parliamentary career and serving a further two and half years before her defeat again in 2019.

Early Life

Jo Swinson was born in 1980. She studied at the London School of Economics. After University, Swinson worked in marketing and public relations, including a spell at the Yorkshire Commercial radio station, Viking FM.


In 2011, Swinson married then fellow Lib Dem MP, Duncan Hames. The couple have two children.

Swinson is a keen runner.  She is also suffers from a severe peanut allergy and experienced an anaphylactic shock in 2013 after eating a biscuit containing peanuts in Glasgow.

Social Media

Twitter – @joswinson