Wes Streeting and Ed Davey
Labour’s Wes Streeting has insisted they are “not entertaining” the prospect of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
The shadow health secretary said he did not think it is the “scenario” the country will be in at the next general election.
However, he did not rule out a coalition with the Lib Dems when repeatedly pressed on the possibility in an interview with Sky’s Sophy Ridge.
In separate interview Lib Dem leader Ed Davey explicitly ruled out working with the Tories but did not rule out a coalition with Labour.
Former prime minister David Cameron and former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg outside 10 Downing Street in London, on May 12, 2010.
It could be similar to the situation the Tories found themselves in in 2010 when they formed a coalition government with the Lib Dems.
Asked whether Labour would be prepared to go into coalition with the Lib Dems, Streeting said: “We’re not even entertaining that prospect...
“I just don’t think that is the scenario that we are going to be in after the next general election.”
Asked a third time about local election results pointing towards a hung parliament, he said: “This is a process, not an event. We’re not at the final destination yet in terms of the general election.”
Put to him that he was not ruling it out, he gave examples of why “we shouldn’t read the local elections right across”.
He said: “Take Hull, where I saw through gritted teeth the Liberal Democrats did rather well.
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 7, 2023
“I heard the Lib Dem leader of Hull council the other night saying ‘well, look, locally, people have voted Lib Dem but at the general election people in this city vote Labour’.”
He added: “We’re not complacent about this and there’s so much more still to come.”
'You are not on the course to win a majority at the general election, are you?' asks @SophyRidgeSky as Sky News vote share prediction shows a hung parliament.@wesstreeting says Labour is 'confident' that they can win a majority.#Ridgehttps://t.co/ZoMhCmTrtvpic.twitter.com/t4r2fq4nYv
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) May 7, 2023
When leader Lib Dem leader Davey was asked on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg show about a coalition with Labour, he said: “That is a hypothetical question because we don’t know what’s going to happen after the next election.”
Put to him that he was ruling out working with the Tories but not Labour, said: “The focus is on getting rid of Conservative MPs. I make no apology for that.”
His deputy leader Daisy Cooper similarly did not rule out a coalition with Labour when challenged.
She told Sky they had “ruled out” working with the Conservatives because of the “damage they are doing to the country”.
But pressed on a coalition with Labour, she replied: “Everything we do between now and the general election will be about focusing on getting Liberal Democrat MPs elected.”
Thursday’s results were disastrous for the Tories who lost some 1,050 seats and control of nearly 50 councils.
It means Labour is now the largest party of local government - overtaking the Conservatives for the first time since 2002.