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Jo Swinson: Was this how she looked when she was told her rejection of Jeremy Corbyn’s offer had gone down like the Titanic?

Tory rebel Dominic Grieve seems to have rowed back on his agreement to talk with Jeremy Corbyn about supporting his ‘no confidence’ plan to topple Boris Johnson.

In an email seen by the New Statesman, Grieve responded to someone critical of the Labour leader’s plan by stating: “I entirely agree. I am not about to facilitate Jeremy Corbyn’s arrival in Downing Street.”

So what, exactly, was he going to say, once he got into a negotiating chamber with the Labour leader?

The issues are clear: Either help Mr Corbyn stop BoJob’s plan for a “no deal” Brexit or be counted among its facilitators.

It is the same issue that is facing Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. After being made to look a fool for dismissing Mr Corbyn’s plan outright yesterday, is she mature enough to swallow her wounded pride, admit she may have been mistaken, and come to the table?

Caroline Lucas hopes so:

Ms Lucas also suffered ridicule earlier this week, when he call for an all-female alternative cabinet attracted criticism for being both sexist and racist. She has showed the maturity necessary to realise that her idea was a mistake, reconsider, and come around to supporting Mr Corbyn.

Many others are appealing for Ms Swinson to do the same and help give Mr Corbyn the Parliamentary majority he needs.

Jonathan Lis, in The Guardian, has claimed that Ms Swinson has put herself in a difficult position that needs to be explained: “Swinson has always emphasised, rightly, that her party’s priority is to stop no deal. This could prove the only way to do so. If the Lib Dems really believe that a few months of a limited Corbyn government is worse than medicine shortages, it is their duty to say why.”

Can she? It seems doubtful.

Mr Lis, of the think tank British Influence, continued: “It is time for the Lib Dems, and indeed all remainers, to decide what they really want. A few months of a Corbyn government is not worse than infrastructural or economic collapse. If your most important goal is to stop no deal, you must take every conceivable step to do just that. Our politicians will not benefit from the catastrophe of a crash-out Brexit. But, far more importantly, neither will the British people.”

If Ms Swinson is indeed interested in stopping Brexit – and not just in stopping Jeremy Corbyn – then these issues should be on her mind.

Also on her mind should be the decisions of the people who have voted Liberal Democrat in recent months, on the understanding that they were supporting the ‘Party of Remain’. If she flat-out refuses an opportunity to stop Brexit, she will be betraying them. And it seems likely that Boris Johnson will call a general election immediately after his Brexit happens on October 31, if he gets that far. What will those voters do then?

The most likely choice for them is to abandon her – and her party.

Her knee-jerk reaction also induced people to remember the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary record – and the recollection is far from palatable:

And the commenters on the social media made up their minds very quickly:

Ms Swinson’s offer to support a ‘no confidence’ vote and interim government if it was led by Harriet Harman or Kenneth Clarke (she thought these were the longest-serving MPs of either gender in the House of Commons but in fact Dennis Skinner is the longest-serving male MP; he refused the title “Father of the House” so it went to the next-eligible candidate) has also been met with derision:

And many think she’s just a Tory in disguise:

On the subject of principles: As I have been writing this, a Liberal Democrat source has told the Independent that the party has “no principled objection” to supporting Mr Corbyn as an interim prime minister.

So it seems even her own MPs won’t support Ms Swinson – if only now that they have seen the way the wind is blowing.

Will she make the smart choice, admit she spoke too soon, and get behind Mr Corbyn now?