Remain parties could stand aside for Tory rebels

Rory Stewart. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Rory Stewart. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Rebel Tories expelled from their party are said to be in talks with Remain parties about a pact at the next election.

The Times reports that former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is in talks with Rory Stewart and existing Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to broker a deal.

The newspaper reports that Stewart would stand as an independent MP for the next election but could accept a "soft Lib Dem whip" in exchange for the party not standing against him, despite peddling proposals for a "soft Brexit" and opposing a People's Vote.

It claims that the Green Party could also form part of the pact.

A similar proposal could be created for other Tory rebels considering standing again including Sam Gyimah, Margot James and Philip Hammond.

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The story was quickly refuted by the Green Party, although has yet to be rubbished by the Lib Dems.

A Green Party spokesperson today said: "We are not in any talks with expelled Tories and we will not be considering this.

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"The Green Party is entirely focused on getting rid of the Tory government, remaining in the European Union, addressing the climate emergency and ending the disastrous policy of austerity."

They added: "We have a call for candidates for the seat out now and we have every intention of standing. It is in an area where we are fast growing our representation in local government."

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