Pickles warns of 'parallel universe' with Lib-Lab coalition

A "parallel universe" with a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in power would mean three-day electricity blackouts, votes for prisoners and soaring taxes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Imagining what could have happened had the Tories not become the senior coalition partners, Mr Pickles warned of a "dour" Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, cursing Tony Blair and listening to the advice of former spin doctor Damian McBride and "policy wonk" Ed Miliband.

Eric Pickles warned a Labour-Lib Dem coalition could see a return to the blackouts of the 1970s. Credit: PA/PA Archive

He told the party conference that the Cabinet would have featured disgraced ex-Lib Dem minister Chris Huhne - elevated to "Lord Huhne of Wormwood Scrubs" - championing prisoner voting rights and "Baron" Len McCluskey, with the Unite leader abolishing Margaret Thatcher's trade union reforms.

"In reality, Gordon may be absent. But they are the same old Labour Party," Mr Pickles added.