Political

First reactions of Liberal Democrats to 7 Labour MPs forming the Independent Group

Here are the initial reactions of a range of Liberal Democrats to the departure of seven MPs from Labour (whose policy statement you can read here):

(Dick Newby was National Secretary of the SDP 1983-8 and is now the Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords.)

Also worthy of note given how bitter Labour-Liberal Democrat rivalry has been in Liverpool over the decades:

As for how the Lib Dems should react to this, my view is still very much rooted in the lessons we can learn from previous episodes.

One other important thing to note:

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5 responses to “First reactions of Liberal Democrats to 7 Labour MPs forming the Independent Group”

  1. I was pleased that in their interviews at least one of the seven said that society is much more complicated than the socialist view of workers versus owners. I have been concerned about Vince’s approach towards the rebels but having heard what they have to say I thinkI’d be happy to be in the same party with them.

  2. These MPs have my utmost respect and I entirely recognise their values.

    It makes no electoral sense to split the vote between candidates that largely share values, albeit possibly in a different order of priority.

    We should be open to a tactical electoral alliance with them – much as is already the case with the Greens.

  3. There is no requirement for them to stand down and cause by-elections, as in our system we vote for the individual candidate, not the party flag or the leader personality – or we are supposed to. Perhaps some voters may learn from this…

  4. We now have to think even harder as to why we LibDems have not become the natural home for Centrist views. Not only these 7 MPs but much of the country also look for a pro-European and open party like ours but we must be honest and ruthless with ourselves as to why we haven’t delivered. We might pat ourselves on the back with our hundreds of new members and supporters, but opinion polls keep us firmly third and not first place and we must be brave like these MPs and see what to do?

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