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Ed Miliband should not be sucked into a pact with the Liberal Democrats and instead show the courage to rule on a minority government, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said.
"Labour, I hope, win the next election outright, but if they are the biggest party then my view is Ed should have the courage of his convictions and govern on a minority government," , Mr McCluskey said in an interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme.
"My view is that Ed shouldn't be sucked into a Lib/Lab pact he should have the courage of his convictions if we are the largest party, he should govern.
"And he should challenge those coalition parties to bring him down if necessary and go back to the people so that there's a stark alternative."
Ed Miliband should rule out a coalition with the Liberal Democrats even if Labour fail to secure a majority in next year's general election, one of the party's biggest backers has said.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey urged Mr Miliband to say he would govern alone even if the party falls short of a majority in next year's general election.
The comments come amid reports that David Cameron will make a commitment not to sign another deal in the event of a hung parliament.
Speculation that a potential alliance between Labour and the Lib Dems has increased in recent months, after Nick Clegg praised the way the opposition had "changed" under Mr Miliband's leadership.