The Liberal Democrats must be prepared to enter another coalition to keep out the Tories, the party’s most senior figures are seen admitting in newly emerged footage.
Tim Farron, Sir Vince Cable, Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb are all seen declaring that the Lib Dems should not rule out a new pact to regain power in the future.
In one video Sir Vince – fighting for re-election next month – says that the party must “work together” with other parties to keep out “right wing head-bangers”.
In another, Mr Farron compared refusing to enter a coalition as a “cop out” and said it would be “completely limiting your options”.
The footage, from interviews and events held over the last two years, was jumped on by the Tories as proof that the Lib Dems would join a “coalition of chaos” to win power.
However Lib Dem sources noted some of the comments are old and said that Mr Farron had been clear the party would not enter a coalition last week.
Sir Vince said during an appearance on Russian broadcaster RT in July that “there’s a danger that if we don’t find some way of working together what will happen [is] the Tories will massively increase their majority”.
He goes on: “You’ll get a lot of right wing head-bangers coming in, you’ll get more UKIP MPs, so you know we have to find some way of working together if there is an early election."
A Tory source said: "This shocking footage proves that Tim Farron and senior Liberal Democrats would enter into discussions that would put Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.
"At election voters can either back Theresa May and strengthen our negotiating hand for Brexit. Or risk the real threat of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister in charge of our Brexit negotiations, weakening our economy and bringing grave uncertainty to our country"
A senior Lib Dem source said: “It is ludicrous to suggest we are going to enter another coalition. Tim ruled this out last week.”