JO Swinson’s No10 dream cost the LibDems public trust, according to an MP running to replace her.

LibDem MP Layla Moran also admitted the public doesn’t know what the party is for as she revealed she will run for its top job.

Swinson quit as LibDem leader after losing her East Dunbartonshire seat – and dropping 10 other UK constituencies – in December’s General Election.

Her campaign had suggested she could be the next prime minister and that male rivals from Tory and Labour were “scared” to debate her.

Appearing on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Moran said that promise had cost the trust of voters.

And she criticised the LibDems’ election promise to reverse Brexit, calling the policy to revoke Article 50 a “big mistake”.

“I’ve been up and down the country listening to voters about what went wrong in the election.

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“They come back and say in the election ‘revoke’ was a big mistake because it felt very top-down, and actually co-operation is a key part of what we believe as Liberal Democrats and we need to earn their trust again.

The National: Jo Swinson's grand claims were seen as delusional by votersJo Swinson's grand claims were seen as delusional by voters

"The other thing that worried them was that we were saying that we were going to be the party of the next government when in fact that wasn’t the case and we lost their trust again over that.

“Then I asked them well, ‘what do you think we stand for?’ And that’s the bit that’s really worrying because they then say ‘well, nine times out of ten, we don’t know’.

“They key question we have to answer now is ‘what are we for?’”

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Moran said the decision to abandon the plan for a second Brexit referendum had been “partly led by a lack of diversity of voices in that room”. She went on: “I do think we need to look very deeply at how we make big strategic decisions in the party and, as leader, I do think that that is something that would have to change.”

On her own leadership ambition, Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “I believe it’s time that we move on as a party and offer a positive vision for the country, and I’m the right person to lead that change.”

Wera Hobhouse is currently the only other LibDem in the leadership race, although she is expected to be joined by Sir Ed Davey.