Lib Dem leadership contestants rule out coalition with Jeremy Corbyn

Jo Swinson and Ed Davey. Photograph: Sky News.

Jo Swinson and Ed Davey. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

Both Jo Swinson and Ed Davey in the Liberal Democrat leadership contest have ruled out a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party under any circumstances.

Taking a question off viewers of the Sky News debate about whether the Lib Dems could work with Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson replied: "No. Jeremy Corbyn? Absolutely not. He's a Brexiteer and a danger to our country.

"With a Corbyn-led Labour, there's a reason why former Labour voters, members and MPs are leaving the party.

"There is no other explanation for the beavhiour of Jeremy Corbyn other than the fact he wants Brexit to happen.

"He can lose councillors, MPs, his party membership can vote things at conference and he still can't say I want a People's Vote, instead we'll have a chat about it in September at conference. Wake up and smell the coffee Jeremy."

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Ed Davey also opposed working with Corbyn. He said: "No coalition with Corbyn and Labour. Partly because of his position on Brexit, and I simply wouldn't trust a change on a public position on Brexit. He's held his opposition to stopping Brexit for decades. But he's also a far-left politician. The far-left have taken a grasp of the Labour Party, they're moving it to the far-left and that's a really dangerous threat to our economy."

Asked if he could work with Labour under a different leader, if it was the largest party, he said: "Who knows.

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"Under Jeremy Corbyn I think the Liberal Democrats will be the largest party, I think those polls are going to be out of date."

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But the pair appeared unwilling to work with Boris Johnson either if he became leader of the Tories.

Swinson said: "Not with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and not with Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party."

Davey said that Johnson would "enshrine inequality in our country in the most appalling way".

However, they did not rule out offering Lib Dem support for a government on a vote-by-vote basis dependent on what appears in a Queen's Speech.

The pair both said they were aiming to work for a Lib Dem majority in a general election which they expected to be soon.

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