Ed Davey has said that the Tories are now too ‘right-wing’ to work with at the next election, and has insisted that the Lib Dems must now work tactically with Keir Starmer’s Labour to defeat Boris Johnson.
Davey has said he had ‘anti-Conservative’ values, and would refuse to work with the Tories even if they win in 2024.
He told Business Insider: ‘They’re far too right-wing and I don’t want anything to do with them.’
The interim Lib Dem leader, hoping to take the permanent position, accepted that there was ‘animosity’ towards his party as a result of the coalition, but he has rejected doing any deals with the Tories in the future.
‘I’m an anti-Conservative politician and I’ve fought them all of my life. I wouldn’t ask Liberal Democrats to agree to any arrangement with the Conservative party.’
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But despite ruling out a formal pact with Labour, Davey said he would make toppling the Tories his top priority, with tactical voting one of the key measures to do that.
‘It’s in their interest for us to beat the Tories and we can beat them in a whole range of seats. We are second to the Conservatives in 80. Starmer will know that he needs us to beat the Tories. Why would he have a go at us?
‘He’s a smart guy. He’s really smart.’
He added: ‘The right-wing got its act together on tactical voting at the last election while the centre-left, progressive parties just messed it up. If we can reverse that, we can defeat the Tories — and that’s what I’m about.’
Davey pointed out ‘that’s what happened with [Paddy] Ashdown and Tony Blair.’