Swinson says trolling affects her family

By Shaun Connolly, PA Political Correspondent

Jo Swinson has spoken of the impact trolling of her has on family members.

The Liberal Democrat leader said her mother takes the attacks hardest.

She told the PA news agency: “She’s the person that takes it harder.

“But it’s 14 years since I was first elected, and I think any parent loves their child and doesn’t like it if people say stuff about them that they wouldn’t want them to be saying.

“But she’s great. She’s delivering lots of leaflets for me. So she also gets to see people putting up posters and saying nice things about me too.”

Ms Swinson said politicians tend to get accustomed to trolling and criticism.

“I think that you can get used to it. Certainly, I mean when you are in politics, you do get used to the fact that people will criticise you. Particularly if you are taking clear positions that many people don’t like.”

Ms Swinson added that her children are too young to be really aware of it.

She said: “My kids are of an age where they are not really particularly aware of that beyond some friends maybe having seen me on Newsround or something like that. They are kind of used to it, to an extent.

Jo Swinson’s husband Duncan Hames (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“My husband deals with it with a fairly tough, thick skin as well – he used to be a politician.

“It’s not going to deter me because I am standing for what I believe in.

“And there will always be people that want to criticise and to hurl abuse and to try to intimidate and to try to silence those voices.

“And I am absolutely determined there are millions of people in this country who want to remain in the European Union and, as leader of the Liberal Democrats, I am their standard bearer and I will not be silenced.”