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.”
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