‘Deniable’ post-election deal talks with Labor will be happening, former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable says | Political News

The Liberal Democrats and Labor will be having “serious, but deniable” conversations about what to do after the next election, according to Sir Vince Cable.

Sir Vince led the Liberal Democrats between 2017 and 2019, and was also business secretary during the coalition years at the start of the last decade.

He was writing after Sir Keir Starmer refused to rule out doing a deal with the Lib Dems seven times when talking to Sky News political editor Beth Rigby on tuesday.

Writing for Comment Central, Sir Vince, 80, said a deal should be contingent on electoral reform – much like the deal between his party and David Cameron in 2010 led to the 2011 referendum which unsuccessfully tried to alter the first past the post system currently used for general elections.

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Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday after a bumper result in the local election, Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper also refused to rule out a deal with labor after the next national vote – expected next year.

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Starmer refuses to rule out Lib Dem deal

Writing for Comment Central, Sir Vince noted that vote share predictions mean Labor could fall short of a majority.

He said: “You can be sure that serious, but deniable, conversations will be taking place over the next year.

“[Current Lib Dem leader] Ed Davey is right not to rule out a coalition with Labour, but it is highly unlikely that the Lib Dems would go into such an arrangement this side of electoral reform being delivered.

“A looser ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement is much more plausible, depending on how the numbers look after an election and subject to agreement on reform of the voting system.”

A confidence and supply agreement is the type of deal Theresa May did with the DUP in 2017 to form a government, although she was hamstrung in parliament due to rebellious backbenchers.

Read more:
Local election results in full
Beth Rigby: Starmer is desperate for a majority – but knows he may fall short

Thrasher: Labor majority at general election by no means certain

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Pat McFadden, Labour’s shadow secretary to the Treasury, was asked this morning about the prospect of a deal with the Liberal Democrats.

He told Sky News that pre-empting the results of an election would be “arrogant” and that he was hoping Labor would win more than one majority in a row as “it’s going to take a long time to turn the country around” after 13 years of Conservative rule.


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