Christine Jardine to stand for Liberal Democrat leadership

A source close to the Edinburgh West MP confirms that she will stand in the contest this summer

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Christine Jardine is to formally announce that she is standing for the Liberal Democrat leadership, the New Statesman has learned.

Jardine, the party’s home affairs spokesperson and MP for Edinburgh West since 2017, has been widely tipped as a potential leadership candidate since Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat at the general election.  A source close to Jardine has confirmed that she will be standing, although no date has been finalised for her official announcement.

The acting Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, is widely expected to also stand for the position. Others known to be seriously considering bids include Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran, new MP for St Albans Daisy Cooper, and Bath MP Wera Hobhouse. 

The candidates, who must be current MPs, require nominations from 10 per cent of the parliamentary party: meaning at least one of the Liberal Democrats’ 11 MPs (candidates cannot nominate themselves). They will also require the support of at least 200 party members from across at least 20 local parties in order to qualify for the leadership ballot. 

Nominations will open on 11 May and close 28 May. The ballot will be open between 18 June and 15 July, after which the Liberal Democrats will announce their new leader.

Ailbhe Rea is political correspondent at the New Statesman

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