Labour wants an ‘informal’ deal with the SNP and Lib Dems

21 Apr

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving home today, believes it is possible to take 40 Conservative marginals on June 8, destroying Theresa May’s current slender majority

Labour’s task on June 8 is to end the Tory majority so it can try to form a minority government with support from the SNP and Lib Dems, sources have claimed.

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign believes it is possible to take 40 Conservative marginals at the election, destroying Theresa May’s current slender majority.

The Tories would still be the largest party but in a hung parliament, Mr Corbyn could then try to enter Downing Street with informal backing from the SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs.

The claim, made by campaign sources to the Daily Mirror, is in defiance of polls suggesting a landslide victory for the Conservatives.

And it will fuel Tory warnings that a vote for Labour is a vote for a ‘coalition of chaos’ driven by Nicola Sturgeon. 

Mr Corbyn scrambled to rule out the idea of a formal coalition with the SNP earlier this week after leader Nicola Sturgeon backed a ‘progressive alliance’. 

The prospect of the SNP in power in London is toxic to English voters and was a huge driver of the Conservative campaign in 2015.

Ms Sturgeon intervened again today to warn the local elections in Scotland were a choice between Tories who believe in nothing but Brexit and the SNP. 

HOW COULD CORBYN WIN NO 10? 

Under the apparent Labour plan, Jeremy Corbyn would hope to take enough seats to the end Tory majority but accept he cannot win outright either. 

This would mean neither he or Theresa May could win votes in the Commons without other parties.

Mr Corbyn would use Brexit as a reason for all other parties to come together against the Tories – but stop short of forming a full coalition.

This is known as ‘confidence and supply’, where other parties would back his Budgets and Queen’s Speech but everything else would be haggled over. 

Mrs May will argue such a deal would be a recipe for chaos – and it is far from clear other parties would even endorse Mr Corbyn in such a scenario. 

The campaign source told the Mirror: ‘Our number one goal is to deny the Tories a majority. And that is not beyond the realms of imagination.

‘If we can take say 40 seats off them – and we’re only talking overturning small majorities – then we can be somewhere near parity.

‘And if the Lib Dems do well too, the Tories will be out of government.

‘Who is going to be able to cut a deal (with the other parties) over Brexit, us or them?’

Conservative MP Maria Caulfield said the claims revealed the ‘truth’ about Labour’s campaign.

She said: ‘We’ve now heard the truth from Jeremy Corbyn’s own campaign team: they are getting ready to form a coalition of chaos and instability that would disrupt our Brexit negotiations and put our growing economy at risk.

‘Only a vote for the Conservatives on 8 June can secure the strong and stable leadership that the United Kingdom needs to see us through Brexit and beyond; to lock in the economic progress we have made together.’

Mr Corbyn’s campaign has suggested the Labour leader could enter No 10 at the head of a minority government with informal support from other parties 

The Labour leader was greeted by activists on his latest stop in Swindon (pictured), as part of a campaign tour focused on class sizes today 

The Labour leader was greeted by activists on his latest stop in Swindon (pictured), as part of a campaign tour focused on class sizes today 

The Labour leader was greeted by activists on his latest stop in Swindon (pictured), as part of a campaign tour focused on class sizes today 

Mr Corbyn used his latest appearance to promote policies on the minimum wage and banning zero hour contracts 

Liberal Democrat sources said the idea of propping up a minority Labour government was ‘laughable’. 

LABOUR LOSES 13 MPS BEFORE CAMPAIGN REALLY STARTS  

An MP has blasted Jeremy Corbyn‘s Labour as out of touch with working class people as he becomes one of 13 to quit the party at the election.

Michael Dugher, who was last year sacked by Mr Corbyn from the shadow cabinet, said he is standing down after seven years in Parliament.

The MP for Barnsley East took a swipe at the Labour leader as he announced his departure.

 He said he wishes Labour ‘nothing but the best’ but stressed it must be a party ‘in touch with working class people and one that can get into government so we can actually do something to really help people’. 

Four Conservative MPs are also quitting Parliament, including former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth and Dame Angela Watkinson – both leaving plumb safe seats.  

Responding to the report, a Labour spokesman said: ‘Labour is campaigning to win every seat.

‘The only deal we’ll do is with the electorate, to be a government for the many not the few.’

Mr Corbyn has another packed day on the campaign trail today promoting new policy on school overcrowding. 

Mr Corbyn highlighted Labour analysis of Department for Education figures which showed more than 40,000 primary school children were taught in classes of 36 or more pupils in 2016, up from around 38,500 the previous year.

A total of 16,655 primary pupils were being taught in class sizes of 40 or greater while nearly half a million were being taught in classes containing between 31 and 35 children, the figures showed.

Furthermore, there were 109 primary schools with more than 800 pupils in 2016, compared with just 16 in 2010 when the Tories came to power.

Mr Corbyn said Conservative cuts to education budgets would only make the problem worse.

Nicola Sturgeon, pictured in Edinburgh today, intervened again to warn the local elections in Scotland were a choice between Tories who believe in nothing but Brexit and the SNP

Nicola Sturgeon, pictured in Edinburgh today, intervened again to warn the local elections in Scotland were a choice between Tories who believe in nothing but Brexit and the SNP

Nicola Sturgeon, pictured in Edinburgh today, intervened again to warn the local elections in Scotland were a choice between Tories who believe in nothing but Brexit and the SNP

‘Seven years of Tory failure and broken promises have left our schools in a terrible state,’ the Labour leader said.

‘Hundreds of thousands of our children are paying the price, crammed into classrooms like sardines.

Tim Farron's Liberal Democrats laughed off the idea of propping up a minority Corbyn government 

Tim Farron's Liberal Democrats laughed off the idea of propping up a minority Corbyn government 

Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats laughed off the idea of propping up a minority Corbyn government 

‘The Prime Minister herself has said that super-sized classes are proof of a school system in a crisis. And that’s what we’ve got on the Tories’ watch.

‘School leaders and teachers have said that Tory cuts to school budgets will mean class sizes will be forced to grow even larger.

‘We cannot risk our children’s education in this way.

‘Labour will stand up for all children by building a schools system for everyone, keeping class sizes down and making sure schools and teachers have the resources they need to ensure that every child, whatever their background, has access to a world-class education.’ 

A Conservative spokesman said: ‘This is a massive own goal from Labour. In Wales, where they administer schools with the Lib Dems, the numbers of infants in large classes has risen by 18 per cent in just three years.

‘Of course we are not complacent about the situation in England. There is more to do and that’s why we are spending a record amount on schools – something we can afford to do because of our careful management of the nation’s finances.

‘The biggest risk for our schools and our children is throwing away the economic progress we have made. That’s what would happen if we had Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, propped up by a coalition of chaos with the Lib Dems and SNP.’  

The claim will feed into the narrative of Theresa May, pictured in Enfield North yesterday, that a vote for Labour is a vote for a 'coalition of chaos' 

The claim will feed into the narrative of Theresa May, pictured in Enfield North yesterday, that a vote for Labour is a vote for a 'coalition of chaos' 

The claim will feed into the narrative of Theresa May, pictured in Enfield North yesterday, that a vote for Labour is a vote for a ‘coalition of chaos’ 

Nicola Sturgeon warns Scots must choose between Tories who want ‘Brexit at all costs’ and the SNP

Scottish voters must choose between the SNP and a Tory ‘Brexit at all costs’ machine, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.

The First Minister said there was a clear choice for voters at the May 4 local elections – the biggest date between now and the general election on June 8.

Ms Sturgeon has thrown herself into the national battle this week threatening to form a ‘progressive alliance’ to try and block Theresa May’s return to No 10.

The intervention threw Labour’s first week of campaigning into chaos as the threat of Scottish nationalist rule in Westminster horrifies English voters.  

Scottish voters must choose between the SNP and a Tory ‘Brexit at all costs’ machine, Nicola Sturgeon has warned today (pictured) 

Ms Sturgeon launched her local elections manifesto today alongside council candidates at the community-led arts charity and social enterprise the Whale Arts Centre in Wester Hailes. 

She also joined SNP Edinburgh council candidates for a photocall, embracing six month old baby Ollie Lynch for the camera.

STURGEON LAUNCHES FIGHT ON SECOND FRONT IN LOCAL POLL 

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched her electoral battle against the Tories on a second front today.

All Scottish councils – and many in England – are up for grabs on May 4 in the most significant date of the run into the general election on June 8.

Significantly, Ms Sturgeon has chosen to paint her local fight against the Tories – despite the party holding far fewer current seats than Labour.

The SNP leader promised more free childcare, cash for classrooms and more affordable houses.

She said the Tories offered nothing but Brexit. 

At the launch, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘The council elections are a clear choice between the SNP who stand for strong and vibrant local communities – and a Tory party which has become a single-issue, Brexit-at-all-costs machine.

‘SNP councillors will always put their local communities first – they are not there to simply make up the numbers and be used as a proxy war in national political games.

‘From the abolition of ring-fenced funding and our transformational Community Empowerment Act, the SNP has a long track record of pushing power down to local communities.

‘Every vote for the SNP on May 4th is a vote against Tory austerity and a vote to protect vital services and jobs.

‘All of our candidates are working hard every day to earn the trust of the people they want to represent and after the election will continue to work every day to preserve it.’ 

Ms Sturgeon launched her elections with an attack on the Conservatives despite the party holding far fewer of the current seats than Labour, which remains the second party in Scottish local government.

 

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