Jeremy Corbyn rules out Remain coalition after a general election

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. Photograph: PA/Sky.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. Photograph: PA/Sky. - Credit: Archant

After Jo Swinson ruled out working with Jeremy Corbyn the Labour leader has said he too would not be interested in a coalition if there is a hung parliament at the next election.

The Labour leader said they would look to force an election once it was clear a no-deal Brexit was off the table.

However in a round of ITV regional news interviews, he said if there was a hung parliament and they were unable to achieve an overall majority, Labour would seek to govern as a minority government.

"We would go into government with whatever election result was. I am not doing deals. I am not doing coalitions," he told UTV.

ComRes polling suggests if the Tories fall short of a majority Labour could form an alliance with the Lib Dems and SNP to form a government.

But Corbyn rejected the idea that Labour could offer the SNP a second referendum on Scottish independence in order to win its support at Westminster.

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At the same time however, he refused to rule out a further public vote later in the parliament if there was a demand for one in Scotland.

"It is not our priority. It is not what I want, it is not what I support," he told Border TV.

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"But if after some years in government there is a demand, then in terms of the devolution settlement we will look at it at that time."

He said: "Obviously in the longer run, if a request is made ... I am not going to be the one who stands in the way of that."

Corbyn said that he would press for a general election once it was clear that Boris Johnson could not force through a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of parliament.

"When the prime minister abides by the law which parliament has passed which requires him if he cannot get a deal to apply for an extension, I think that is the time," he told ITV Anglia.

"What we won't do is to fall into some trap created by Boris Johnson which would lead us into a no-deal Brexit with all the chaos that would bring."

Corbyn defended his position of seeking to negotiate a new Brexit deal with Brussels and then putting it to the public in a referendum along with the option to remain in the EU, without coming down on either side.

He rejected criticism that his policy was a "muddle" and that he was failing to offer leadership on an issue of crucial national importance.

"I am not sitting on the fence," he told YTV.

"I think leadership comes from listening. I think leadership comes from asking people to look at the realities of the situation.

"It is not a muddled position. It is a position that takes the issue seriously."

Speaking on Tyne Tees, he added: "We need a democratic mandate from the people. What I will be campaigning for is to make sure the British people have that decision."

Earlier this month Jo Swinson ruled out a coalition with Labour while Jeremy Corbyn was leader - also refusing to work with Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservatives.

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