The Liberal Democrats could stand aside for Tory rebel MP Dominic Grieve in a snap general election.
While the anti-Brexit party has denied to comment on the reports, “senior sources” have told the Sunday Times that a deal has been struck to help the former Conservative minister in his seat in Beaconsfield.
Grieve, who has been instrumental in the cross-party ‘rebel alliance’, is looking to stand as an independent MP in the next general election after Boris Johnson kicked the MP out of the Tory party.
Now his Lib Dem opponent Rob Castell has reportedly agreed to stand down, with the expectation that the Green candidate Zoe Hatch could do the same. The People’s Vote campaign could also use this seat to encourage Labour supporters to vote tactically to back the second referendum campaigner.
At the last election Dominic Grieve secured 65.3% of the vote – with Labour in a distant second place with 21.4% of support. The Lib Dems received 7.9% of the total votes, but came second place in 2010 and 2005 the last time there was a surge in support.
Grieve told the Sunday Times: “If there is going to be a general election prior to Brexit being concluded my view is that, in those circumstances, if I can’t stand as a Conservative candidate I will stand as an independent.”
He added: “It’s up to other political parties to decide whether they wish to put up a candidate. My understanding is that the Liberal Democrats will decide not to do so, for which I am grateful. I believe that will be helpful. I have also had supportive emails from people who voted Labour in 2017.”
Left-wing critics responded to the reports claiming that it was another example of the Liberal Democrats supporting the Tories while refusing to work with Jeremy Corbyn.