Simon Hughes has skewered Jo Swinson’s tenure of the Liberal Democrats, saying every decision since she took over as leader from Vince Cable has been wrong.
The Ex-Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP said: “Every single decision since Jo became leader and Ed Davey became deputy leader has been the wrong decision”, adding: “We’ve thrown most people under the bus and it’s our fault.”
The party’s miserable performance came in spite of expected gains from initial polls and a pact with other Remain parties.
But key Remain and former Lib Dem constituencies – including Bermondsey and Old Southwark, went Labour or Conservative.
Even high-profile new additions to the party such as Labour defector Chuka Umunna failed to get over the line.
Speaking on Sky News, Hughes blasted “every strategic decision” made by Swinson and Davey in the run up to the election: “They decided to go for revoking article 50 having ignored the referendum, they decided that they could argue that was because we might be a majority government, incredible, incredible, nobody believes it.
“Jo led the campaign on the basis that she could be Prime Minister. Incredible, nobody believed it. She was almost unknown.”
He described the party’s support for the election as their “fourth strategic failure”, before arguing: “The fifth is that when the discussion was going on about what happens in parliament if Boris lost the vote, we refused to accept that of course the leader of the opposition should have the first go – they wouldn’t have succeeded – and then the literature that was put out has been feeble, wishy washy, motherhood and apple pie.”
Hughes said in the summer the party could have ‘won 50 seats’. Instead, they now have just eleven and Swinson has stepped down with immediate effect after losing her own seat to the SNP.