During his pre-conference interview with the Evening Standard, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has poured cold water on the idea of the Lib Dems entering into a coalition with Labour whilst (the highly unpopular) Jeremy Corbyn remains its leader:
He virtually ruled out ever going into a coalition with Mr Corbyn, saying: “Could I see myself doing it? I can’t.”
Mr Farron accused Labour’s leadership of being “more content with feeling good about themselves than doing good”, adding: “I think there is nothing grubby about winning elections.”
This is particularly notable given Tim Farron’s previously expressed support for future coalitions in general.
Farron did however appeal to other members of Labour:
“It’s not for me to go out and be a home-wrecker but perhaps to create a home for people who are liberals, progressives, who think winning elections is not a dirty business but is about making sure the Tories do not have a majority for, potentially, the next quarter of a century,” he said.
His offer is timed to appeal to dozens of moderate Labour MPs facing the threat of deselection in the wake of boundary changes. He told the Standard he was aware of Labour MPs who were disenchanted because Mr Corbyn’s “shambolic” leadership was letting the Conservatives off the hook.
“I don’t want to park my tanks on Labour’s lawn,” he said. “I want to park my tanks on the Tory lawn, which is where Labour’s tanks ought to be.” Mr Farron even hinted that Labour defectors would be allowed to stand in the next election under Lib-Dem colours, aiming to tempt those facing deselection. “We’d want those people to be very much part of our future,” he said.