Lib Dems will make 'no deal or coalition' with Tories or Labour, party confirms

Former leader Ming Campbell said a deal would be 'impossible'

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Thursday 08 June 2017 22:26
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Former leader Ming Campbell
Former leader Ming Campbell

The Liberal Democrats will make "no pact, no deal, no coalition" with either Labour or the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

A senior Lib Dem source confirmed to The Independent that there would be "no coalitions" or other deals with any other party.

Ming Campbell made the comments following the exit poll that showed Theresa May losing her majority in what would be a major electoral upset.

"Tim Farron made it very clear: he said no pact, no deal, no coalition. We’ve had our fingers burned by coalition, I don’t need to tell you that," he told the BBC.

"I find it very, very difficult to see how Tim Farron would be able to go back on what he’s previously said and indeed to persuade the membership of the Liberal Democrats that a coalition would be a good idea from our point of view."

Lord Campbell, who led the party in 2006 and 2007, said differences on Brexit would make it difficult for the Lib Dems to do any deal with Labour or the Conservatives.

He continued: "I would be astonished if he countenanced any kind of coalition with with Labour or the Conservatives."

The Green Party, which currently has 1 MP, said it would never back a Tory government but could support Labour on a vote-by-vote basis. The SNP and DUP would also likely be king-makers in a hung parliament.

The Lib Dems suffered badly from the 2010 coalition with the Conservatives, losing scores of seats across the country and being reduced to a small parliamentary rump.

Lib Dems leader Tim Farron outside a polling station at Stonecross Manor Hotel in Kendal, Cumbria

The party is tonight bullish about its chances in south London – where Ed Davey is try to re-take Kingston and Surbiton from the Conservatives, Vince Cable is looking for a comeback in Twickenham, and the party wants to regain Paul Burstow's old seat of Sutton and Cheam.

The liberals are also hoping to unseat Tory MP Ben Howlett in Bath, a seat they held until 2015 – though the rest of the south west is expected to be difficult terrain for the party.

A party source described the situation in Scotland – where the party could pick up a number of seats – as “tight”.

The BBC/Sky/ITV exit poll shows the Tories on 314 seats, just short of the 326 needed to win. The poll poll Labour on 266, the Lib Dems on 14, the SNP on 34 and other parties on 22.

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