Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Tony Blair could work alongside Lib Dems in anti-Brexit election campaign

'Unique circumstances demand a unique response', Mr Blair said

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 19 April 2017 08:58 BST
'The political situation is unprecedented and dangerous', Tony Blair said
'The political situation is unprecedented and dangerous', Tony Blair said

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said voters should pick candidates from whichever party is prepared to hold Theresa May's Government to account over Brexit.

He said "unique circumstances demand a unique response" and that "this should cross party lines", with many speculating he will campaign alongside the Liberal Democrats ahead of the June 8 vote.

According to The Telegraph, Senior Liberal Democrats have "confirmed" Mr Blair "could" join forces with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to campaign against Brexit at the 2017 general election.

Mr Farron has positioned his party as "your chance to change the direction of your country ... if you want to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit".

Mr Blair, who won three general elections as leader of the Labour Party, said in a statement on Tuesday: "There has to be a way of ensuring that voters can put candidates for Parliament under sustained pressure to say whether they would vote against a deal which does not deliver the same benefits as we enjoy with the single market or against no deal if that transpires to be as damaging as many fear; and that they are prepared to hold the Government properly to account in the interests of the country.

Tim Farron: 'I can jolly well affect the result of the snap general election'

"The political situation the country faces is unprecedented and dangerous. We risk a Parliament which is lop-sided in its make-up; which has a big Tory majority — in part delivered not because of the intrinsic merits of Brexit or the Tories themselves but because of the state of Labour; where they will claim a mandate to take us wherever they will; when we desperately need representatives who will at least keep an open mind.

"This requires the electorate in every constituency to know where the candidates stand; and the mobilisation of the thousands in each constituency to make it clear that for them this issue counts when it comes to their vote."

While he said he was not "urging tactical voting or some anti-Tory alliance", he hoped to see elected "as many MPs as possible with an open mind on this issue who are prepared to vote according to the quality of the deal and the interests of the British people".

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in