Jo Swinson

Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Jo Swinson is a formidable political operator who was the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats, leading the party from July to December 2019.

She was a Business Minister and Minister for Women and Equalities in the Coalition Government (2012-2015) and previously a member of the Speaker’s Conference which looked at ways to increase the number of women, black and minority ethnic MPs.

As a Minister she delivered a radical new system of shared parental leave, led the biggest overhaul of consumer rights for a generation, won government support to bring in gender pay gap reporting and increased penalties on employers failing to pay workers the minimum wage.

Campaigner for equal power

Jo Swinson set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and was a co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence. As a minister she spearheaded the Government’s Body Image campaign.

A former marketing manager, in 2015 she founded her own consulting business advising organisations on workplace diversity. She has written a book, Equal Power.

Outside politics, she enjoys running: she completed the Loch Ness Marathon in 2007 and the London Marathon in 2011. She stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader after losing her parliamentary seat at the December 2019 General Election.