JO SWINSON could be set to make a dramatic return to frontline politics with reports that the failed LibDem leader is heading to Holyrood to replace Willie Rennie.

According to the Press and Journal, the North East Fife MSP is “keen” to see a fresh face take over in 2021.

Swinson is believed to be the favoured choice among senior figures.

She lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP at last December’s election but is understood to be “seriously considering” a run at Holyrood.

“With Willie stepping down, it would be great to have Jo back in a prominent role. She’s been asked and she’s seriously considering a run”, a party source told the paper.

Asked about the rumours, a Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman said: “The Liberal Democrats intend to grow in numbers across Scotland for Holyrood in 2021.

“Jo Swinson is very talented and will be of huge value to the country in whatever role she wants to play in the future in our party.”

And on Rennie stepping down, the spokesman added: “Willie Rennie has developed a strong reputation over the last decade as leader. He has grown the party in Scotland, greatly improved diversity and made huge strides to improve government policy on mental health provision, police support and childcare.

“He has still got a lot of work ahead of him in holding the SNP to account on ailing public services and pushing forward the positive case for the UK.”

Rennie has come under increasing pressure recently over the Scottish party’s investigation into David Steel’s historic decision to turn a blind eye to the paedophile MP Cyril Smith.

The Scottish Lib Dems found that there were “no grounds for action” against the peer despite his admission that he knew the prolific paedophile had abused children.

The lawyer for Smith’s victims accused the Scottish Lib Dems of putting their “own party interest” above the welfare of children abused by Smith.

Swinson’s last public appearance came after December’s election which saw the party go from 12 MPs to 11.