Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Lib Dems 'may enter new coalition'

The Liberal Democrats could enter a coalition with the Conservatives or Labour depending which party secures the most seats in the House of Commons, one of the party's senior MPs has said.

Simon Hughes said the Lib Dems hope to remain the third largest party in Parliament after this year's general election and stressed that they were prepared to do another coalition deal.

Mr Hughes insisted that any coalition would be brokered "in the national interest" as he defended the Lib Dems' "business arrangement" with the Tories in 2010, claiming it proved that a coalition can work.

The Justice Minister told Sky News's Murnaghan programme: "The public will decide how many seats each party obtains, we don't prejudge that.

"But we will work as we did this time with any other coalition partner because the national interest has to come first.

"That's our duty, we've done it well, we've proved we can do it, we've proved coalition can work.

"It was the best solution for the last five years, the Labour Party had lost the election, there were not the numbers to do a deal with Labour.

"We did a business arrangement for five years with the Tories but we are absolutely clear that if the Tories were to win a majority on their own then they would cut more than it's acceptable."

He added: "So we'd go into any negotiation, and it looks highly likely there will be no overall majority, we would go into any negotiation we would hope as the third party in British politics with whoever was the largest party in Parliament."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph