Jo Swinson looked overcome with emotion as she entered the Bournemouth International Centre stage to address her party as leader.
She stood for the Liberal Democrats in a general election when she was only 21 and now 18 years later was standing in front of members as leader.
Here are the key quotes from the East Dunbartonshire MP’s 45-minute conference closing speech.
– On why she stood for leader:
“They (sons Andrew, aged one, and Gabriel, three) are why I am standing here. If I can do something to change the future, how could I not do this?”
– On the influence of her father:
“He encouraged me to challenge the way things are.”
– On aiming for a majority at the next general election:
“I am standing here as your candidate for prime minister.”
– On the newly adopted policy of cancelling Brexit:
“We are crystal clear: a Liberal Democrat majority government will revoke Article 50 on day one.”
– On prime minister Boris Johnson’s description of David Cameron as a “girly swot”:
“If he thinks being a woman is somehow a weakness, he is about to find out: it is not.”
– On the PM sacking 21 Tory moderate MPs:
“Silencing critics, purging opponents, ignoring the law – for someone who proclaims to hate socialist dictators, he’s doing a pretty good impression of one.”
– On Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Euroscepticism:
“Nigel Farage might be Brexit by name, but it is very clear that Jeremy Corbyn is Brexit by nature.”
– On climate change:
“Parliament declared a climate emergency, but what has the Government done since then? We’ve set off the fire alarm, and they are just standing by watching it burn.”
– On tackling knife crime as a public health issue, as well as a crime:
“It means treating violent behaviour as an epidemic that spreads across a community, just like we would with a disease.”
– On the government the Liberal Democrats would lead:
“We can defeat nationalism and populism. We can change our politics, stop Brexit and win a brighter future.”
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.