Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson insisted on Wednesday that a vote for her party would not help put Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn into No 10.
Swinson was speaking as she launched the party’s battle bus tour in Finchley and Golders Green, a sign the seat could prove crucial ahead of next month’s general election.
Swinson was joined by local candidate Luciana Berger as she visited the Head Room cafe where she sat down with Laurie Rackind, the chief executive of mental health charity Jami.
Unveiling plans to invest £11b into mental health provision, Swinson told Jewish News: “Today as we are in this amazing Jewish mental health charity, the importance of making sure that mental health provision is properly resourced is right up there in terms of our priorities because it touches everybody’s lives.”
“Currently the provision is woefully inadequate, and we’ve got a plan to change that,” she said.
The Conservative party has a majority in the marginal seat but the Liberal Democrats are hopeful of Berger taking the seat held by Mike Freer.
“I cannot be clearer. Liberal Democrat votes are not going to put Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 and I’ve made it clear on many occasions,” Swinson said.
She added: “My views are view simple. Neither Boris Johnson nor Jeremy Corbyn are fit to be prime minister, and if you look at the values that Jeremy Corbyn says he stands for, his actions don’t match them.
“He’s supposed to be someone standing for equality. He has spectacularly failed to do that and that’s why you’ve seen people leaving the Labour Party in droves. Many of them coming to the Liberal Democrats and having that welcome home in the Lib Dems.”
Later, Swinson said she would continue to protect personal freedoms including kosher slaughter and religious circumcision, which she described as “incredibly important in a civilised society.”
She also reaffirmed the Liberal Democrat policy of backing a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. “The public want peace and our role, to the extent that we can influence this, is to try and make sure a peaceful solution, two states existing side by side in harmony, can be achieved,” she said.
Launching her campaign on Tuesday, Swinson said that “Jeremy Corbyn’s complete and utter failure to root out antisemitism in his own party is a total dereliction of duty when it comes to protecting that value of equality.”