‘People are dying because of what you did’: Jo Swinson confronted by student over Lib Dem-Tory coalition record

‘I know people who have suffered so much and it breaks my heart,’ socialist student tells party leader

Jane Dalton
Friday 22 November 2019 16:55
Comments
Jo Swinson confronted in Glasgow over Lib Dem austerity record

Jo Swinson was accused of leading a party that caused people to die through its involvement in austerity as she was confronted by a student on the campaign trail.

“People are dying here in poverty because of what you’ve done on austerity,” Jay Sutherland told the Lib Dem leader as a crowd of onlookers and photographers gathered.

Ms Swinson, who was in Glasgow with Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, listened as the 18-year-old attacked her party’s record on supporting drastic cutbacks to public services when in coalition with the David Cameron's Conservatives.

“I think it is unforgivable what you’ve done to Glasgow – cities like this,” the University of Strathclyde student said.

“I know people who have suffered so much and it breaks my heart. People are dying because of austerity – do you know that? Because of the Lib Dems enabling that.”

Ms Swinson encouraged him to look at the party’s plans for the future, saying: “We are setting out a lot more money to put into Universal Credit.”

But Mr Sutherland, an organiser of Scotland Against Militarism, described as “a radical campaign to oppose militarism and work towards a full ban of the military in education”, responded: “It’s just not good enough, just not good enough.

"I’m a student here in Scotland and luckily I get free education but look at the Lib Dems in England – you traded students in and I don’t think people will ever forgive you for that.”

While in power with the Tories from 2010 to 2015, the Lib Dems went back on a pledge not to introduce tuition fees for students, although 21 of the party’s MPs rebelled in the vote. Nick Clegg, then party leader, later apologised for having made the promise.

Asked by Mr Rennie about the climate emergency, the socialist-backing student replied: “The Lib Dems support capitalism and capitalism is not a viable option.”

“You’re entitled to that view, and I think we should reform capitalism,” Ms Swinson said.

Mr Sutherland, who describes himself as an activist for a grassroots radical movement for Scottish independence, said it was sad to see the MPs in Glasgow, “the city hit hardest by austerity in Scotland”.

The Lib Dems have been approached for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in