Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson presented herself as candidate for Prime Minister as the party held its largest Conference from 14 to 17 September and members voted to include a pledge to revoke Article 50 into the next election manifesto.
Concluding three-days of political discussions and meetings in Bournemouth, the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference was closed by the speech of Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson who outlined her vision for a Liberal Democrat government, winning the next General Election powered by the surging Liberal Democrat movement across the county. Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah became the latest member of parliament to join the party, his announced coming as a surprise to delegates at the opening night rally.
The party’s top priority: stopping Brexit. In her speech, Jo Swinson outlined the terrible risks the country faces which she said will inevitably harm the most vulnerable people in our society the most: “The first task is clear. We must stop Brexit. And we are crystal clear: a Liberal Democrat majority government will revoke Article 50 on day one. Because there is no Brexit that will be good for our country. Europe makes our United Kingdom stronger. But Brexit hurts our family of nations."
She described how Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn were both unfit for office, and outlined amongst other things her plans to address climate change and the environment, tackling knife crime, and increasing progress made on mental health.
Concluding with a message of hope and a rallying cry to everyone with liberal and democratic values across the country, she acknowledged that there is a battle ahead, but the party is aiming for nothing less than winning the next General Election. "This much I am sure of. The opportunity in front of us is huge. And it is for the taking. We can win. We must win,” she said. “To do so, we must build the biggest liberal movement this country has ever seen. Our job is to gather the forces of liberalism, and be the rallying point for change. Liberal Democrats, we can build the broad, open, liberal movement that our country needs. We can defeat nationalism and populism. We can change our politics, stop Brexit and win a brighter future."
The ALDE Party hosted a number of events in the Conference programme including an ALDE Rally on the Saturday evening during which ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk spoke. Conference also heard a video message from the Renew Europe leader Dacian Ciolos, and from MEP Guy Verhofstadt who delivered a speech to the Rally.