LONDON — The Liberal Democrats could never support a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn because the party does not have the “common ground” it shared with the Conservatives under David Cameron — a leading figure in the party has said.
Shadow Lib Dem chancellor Vince Cable told LBC on Monday that the Labour leader’s policies were “completely unacceptable” to the party, unlike Cameron’s.
“We have a very clear policy of not in any way working with Mr Corbyn,” Cable told LBC’s James O’Brien.
“We have made it absolutely clear there is no way we would work with a Corbyn government… we’re not interested in propping up a government with him.”
He explained that: “[Corbyn’s] policy positions on the big issues of the day are completely unacceptable.”
Labour is yet to publish its manifesto. However, Labour policies so far announced by Corbyn have included free school meals for all primary school children, creating four extra bank holidays, and scrapping parking charges at NHS hospitals.
Asked why they had been prepared to prop up a Conservative-led government under Cameron, he replied that the former PM’s policies “weren’t completely acceptable but there was enough common ground to form a coalition government.”
He said the party no longer shared common ground with either the Conservatives or Labour.
Listen to Cable rule out working with Corbyn
Farron idolised Thatcher
Cable’s comments follow an interview to be broadcast this evening in which Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron admits to having a picture of former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher on his wall.
“I had pictures of strange sort of leftwing politicians, ” he told ITV.
“I remember I had a Mrs Thatcher picture. I had a John F Kennedy picture. I had a [Liberal leader] Jo Grimond picture.”
The Conservatives today accused the Lib Dems of secretly plotting to prop up Labour after a leaked recording emerged of Cable saying that the party should be willing to form local electoral pacts with other “progressive parties,” including Labour.
“If local parties decide that’s what they want to do then they should do it,” Cable told LBC.
“I think in one particular case I did advocate to our activists in Brighton that they should stand down to help Caroline Lucas there. I think that’s the only specific case where I’m aware of any of our candidates standing down. It’s possible it could happen elsewhere.”
The Conservatives accused the party of “plotting” to install Corbyn.
“As usual with the LibDems, what they say publicly is completely at odds with what they say and do in private,” Tory candidate for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, said.”
Having publicly said they wouldn’t do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn, it’s now clear they are actually plotting to help him succeed.”
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