Jo Swinson MP

Jo Swinson MP (Liberal Democrat) MP for East Dunbartonshire. Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland. At 26, Jo is the youngest MP in the House of Commons. First Class Honours degree in Management from the London School of Economics. Before becoming an MP she worked in Yorkshire as Marketing & PR Manager for the Emap radio station Viking FM, where she project-managed a 5 day radio event that received a Sony Radio Academy Award nomination. In 2002 Jo moved back to East Dunbartonshire and to take up the post of Marketing Manager for Glasgow-based media business SpaceandPeople. In her time there she helped the company win Best E-Business at the Scottish Winners at the Web Awards 2003, and set up the Live Brand Experience Association trade body.


Quotation Copyright

When asked how 'fair dealing' applies to the use of quotations, Ms. Miller noted that it is for the legal system to determine whether a quote was used fairly or not;

"It is for the Courts to determine which uses are fair on a case-by-case basis. Uses which might be considered fair dealing for the purpose of quotation include the use of citations in research papers, the use of titles to identify sources in a bibliography, and the use of titles and short extracts to identify hyperlinks in internet blogs and tweets."

Electronic Voting

House of Commons debate Scottish Parliamentary Elections 23 May 2007

We were all appalled as we watched events unfold on the night of 3 May, and in the early hours of the following morning. The mess of the rejected ballot papers, the electronic counting problems and the delayed counts were certainly, as the motion says, "an affront to democracy". Since the election, there has been time for reflection on those events, and we have gained a certain amount of knowledge in that time. We now know just how many people lost their vote on 3 May. We know that an Electoral Commission inquiry led by Ron Gould will look into the conduct of the elections, and we know that the Secretary of State still is not taking full responsibility for the fiasco. However, there is still much to discuss, and that is why I welcome the debate.
... As the Secretary of State knows, the issue was raised before the elections. I went on "Newsnight" and one of the points I made was that it was ominous that postal voting was the bit that should have been easy to get right, and it did not bode well for the electronic counting and so on. ...
... Counts were abandoned on the night as the technology crashed, and Scottish politics was made a laughing stock. I was left wondering exactly what the Scotland Office is for. The running of elections is almost the only thing for which it is directly responsible, and it cannot even get that right. The Secretary of State should be ashamed. He should apologise to the Scottish people and ensure that such electoral chaos is never repeated.

Westminster Hall debate Boundaries, Voting and Representation (Scotland) 20 July 2006

...I am sure that we all welcome the recommendation in the report to move towards e-counting for the next elections. It will be helpful considering the complexities of counting in the list and constituency system, but it must be implemented properly, with testing before the election. I have slightly more reservations about e-voting, because we must ensure that any security issues are properly dealt with. As we move into the 21st century, it is reasonable to suggest that we should not keep exactly the same method of voting that we had in the 19th.

Westminster Hall debate Boundaries, Voting and Representation (Scotland) 20 July 2006

...If we are to allow voting by post, in the 21st century it is worth considering other options if the security issues can be covered. I make that incredibly important caveat.
I do not think, by the way, that e-voting is some kind of answer to making participation easier. I do not by and large buy the argument that people do not vote because it is too difficult. As politicians and members of political parties, we have a great responsibility to reach out and engage more with electors, which we do through election campaigning and through our roles as elected Members. That is how to raise turnout.

Identity cards

Against the Identity card bill. Continues to lobby on the issue. She secured a debate on the 10 May 2006 Identity Card Scheme

ID cards are a controversial topic. The Government were defeated five times in the other place before the legislation finally passed after the Government's concession to delay the scheme until 2009. Public support for ID cards is falling sharply, from about80 per cent. in 2003 to just under 50 per cent. today.
The public are concerned about the introduction of identity cards for many reasons. There are real fears about the erosion of civil liberties and much confusion about what problem ID cards are suppose to solve. The suggestion that they will somehow prevent terrorism stands up to no scrutiny when the 9/11 and Madrid bombers held valid ID and the Home Office admitted that ID cards would have done nothing to prevent the 7 July bombings last year in London.

Signed Early Day Motion 263 Identity Cards 06 June 2005

That this House believes that a convincing case for the introduction of compulsory biometric identity cards and a national database has not been made, that the risks involved far outweigh any discernible benefit, that the introduction of identity cards will fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state, diminish personal privacy and threaten civil liberties, that the present proposals do not provide properly costed, proportionate or effective solutions to the problems they are claimed to solve; and calls upon the Government to shelve plans for their introduction.

DNA database

Signed Early Day Motion 1697 Use of the DNA database 27 Febuary 2006

That this House expresses its concern about the retention of DNA data taken from children aged 10 to 18 years who have never been charged or cautioned with any offence; notes large regional differences in retention policy between various police forces; and believes that this imbalance is being further exacerbated by the Government's unwillingness to issue clear guidelines to chief constables about the removal of innocent children from the National Police DNA Database.

Freedom of Information

Signed Early Day Motion 845 Freedom of Information 06 Febuary 2007

That this House expresses concern that the proposed new fees regulations under the Freedom of Information Act would allow authorities to refuse on cost grounds a high proportion of requests which they are currently required to answer; notes that the Government's consultation document recognises that this will have a greater impact on journalists, hon. Members, campaign groups and researchers than on private individuals; considers that such changes would undermine the Act's contribution to increased discussion of public affairs, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities; and calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals.

Open Source Software

Signed Early Day Motion 179 Software in Schools 21 November 2006

That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.



2007-04-30 - IT PRO - One in six MPs ignore constituent's email
Author: Nicole Kobie
Summary: Comprehensive investigation by IT PRO's sister title Micro Mart tests MPs use of email and finds the youngest politician in parliament is the tech-savviest. ... The top rated MP - crowned by Micro Mart the tech-savviest MP in England, Wales and Scotland - was also the youngest, Jo Swinson. The Liberal Democrat for East Dunbartonshire sent a reply the very same day, and even wrote the local council's environment director on behalf of Brown. A month later, she even followed up with scanned versions of the letters she received in reply.