Amber Rudd: Jeremy Corbyn in No.10 is worse than a no-deal Brexit
- Credit: BBC
Former Conservative minister Amber Rudd has said 'categorically' that she would never support Jeremy Corbyn as a temporary prime minister - even to stop a no-deal Brexit.
The independent MP, who resigned the Tory whip in protest at Boris Johnson's aggressive "do or die" Brexit policy, said nonetheless that she would "under no circumstances" agree to the Labour leader becoming prime minister in a temporary government of national unity.
She denied that meant she would prefer a no-deal Brexit to Corbyn as PM, saying that "that's not the option," and that there are many other ways things could play out.
She was pressed on the issue by BBC Radio 4's Today programme, where she said that if Boris Johnson goes into an election as the 'no deal party', that would "effectively be doing a deal with Nigel Farage".
She said that moderate Conservative voters don't want this and that an election on this basis may not bring Johnson as many votes as he thinks.
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But when asked about having a government of national unity to prevent this, she said that no Conservative or former Conservative MP would support putting Corbyn in Number 10.
"I think I am not alone," she said. "I think every Conservative MP or indeed former Conservative MP has been clear that they would not support a government of national unity that was led by Jeremy Corbyn."
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She would not accept the idea that this simply spells the UK crashing out of the EU, saying there are "lots of conversations going on" - although she is not part of them.
"Parliament has shown that it can assert itself," she said. "It has asked for a delay [to Article 50] and government is now indicating that it will have to work with that despite what it said previously.
"Do not underestimate the ability of parliament to form a majority and assert its will. Government makes a mistake - the executive makes a mistake by trying to ignore parliament and at one point trying to ignore the law. It will always reassert itself."
But she said she wasn't close enough to the conversations to be able to spell out exactly how a government of national unity could be formed, and a no-deal Brexit averted, without the Labour leader as PM.
"There are lots of conversations going on about how to move to the next stage, should we need to, but I'm afraid I'm not involved in those," she said. "I'm aware they're going on and I'm aware also that of all the different options that could happen over the next few weeks it's probably the least likely, but at least somebody's making some plans."
She added: "There are a lot of bad choices and one of them - possibly the worst choice - would be allowing Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister."
When asked if this is a worse choice than a no-deal Brexit, she agreed and then stopped herself. "It IS a ... well again, you're making me make a choice between no deal and Jeremy Corbyn ... there are other choices, as we've seen."
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