George Osborne's Evening Standard backs Liberal Democrats

PUBLISHED: 13:06 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 22 May 2019

Vince Cable MP, Guy Verhofstadt and Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder with Lib Dem European election candidates and supporters in Camden Square. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Vince Cable MP, Guy Verhofstadt and Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder with Lib Dem European election candidates and supporters in Camden Square. Picture: Polly Hancock.

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The London Evening Standard - edited by former Tory chancellor George Osborne - has backed the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.

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Osborne is the latest Conservative to turn his back on Theresa May's Conservative party, and follows the former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine in backing the Lib Dems.

The newspaper's leader slammed May's fourth attempt to pass her deal as "desperate" and offering "nothing to anyone".

Judging her premiership "finished", it stated: "She should have gone with dignity in 2017; instead her weak party indulged her weakness ...

"Instead, to the accolades of the worst manifesto, worst conference speech and worst parliamentary defeat in history, she is likely to add tomorrow the worst Conservative performance in a national election."

Appealing to readers to help "determine the fate of her successor", the paper warned that Nigel Farage's Brexit Party "channels the anger of those who feel ignored, (but) offers nothing that would help them".

Lamenting the lack of options for Remain supporters, with Change UK "not yet the sum of its parts", the paper suggested they could not vote Tory.

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"Those who feel the 16 million people who voted Remain have been ignored will struggle to vote Tory," it stated.

"It is one of the failures of this administration that it has turned its back on so many of these natural Conservative supporters.

"They should be ripe pickings for a sensible Labour opposition. But we don't have one of those."

The leader said Labour's European campaign had been "a study in political cowardice" and labelled Jeremy Corbyn an "extremist".

It concluded: "This has left the door open to the Liberal Democrats.

"They had the courage from the start to say the referendum result was a mistake - and Britain needed to think again.

"As a result, voters have started to think again about them.

"We wish them well."

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