We’ve all had our fun, mocking Keir Starmer’s inability to deny that he’d go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats if it gave him a sniff at power. Even Rishi Sunak did it, in Prime Minister’s Questions this week (Wednesday, May 10).
But it seems he has no reason to feel superior at all, because it seems he can’t rule out forming an alliance with some of the more… controversial?… parties:
Rishi Sunak's press secretary has refused to rule out the Tories forming a coalition with one of the smaller parties after the next general election https://t.co/TERie1QSRX
— ITV News Politics (@ITVNewsPolitics) May 10, 2023
The article states:
Number 10 has refused to rule out the possibility of the Conservatives forming a coalition government with a smaller party, including the controversial Reclaim Party, run by right-wing commentator Laurence Fox.
Rishi Sunak’s press secretary repeatedly said she would “not speculate” about what might happen after the next general election when asked at a briefing following PMQs.
Ironically, the prime minister criticised Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for doing the same on Wednesday in response to questions about whether he’d form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
“While he is busy plotting coalitions, we are getting on and delivering for the British people,” the PM said.
But minutes later his press secretary, asked whether the Tories would consider a confidence-and-supply arrangement or coalition with a smaller party, said: “I don’t think anyone at this stage is going to speculate on the results of the next election.
“The prime minister is fully committed to and focused on delivering his five priorities and that’s what we’re going to do to get a Conservative majority.”
Asked if there could be a coalition with Reclaim, she said “it’s not one for me” and in response to a similar question about the Reform Party, previously the Brexit Party, she said: “Again, I am telling you that the prime minister is focused on delivering for the people, which will deliver a Conservative majority.”
Reclaim has just one MP. It announced that Andrew Bridgen had joined after being expelled by the Tories for expressing controversial views on coronavirus vaccines.
Reform doesn’t have any MPs at all.
The Tories would be scraping the barrel if they even considered either of these parties to have anything to offer in coalition.
But then, it’s well accepted that nobody else would even consider joining forces with Rishi Sunak’s party, after the experiences of the Lib Dems and the DUP
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