Vince Cable admits he’s been in discussion with Labour leavers for six months
I don’t think we are talking about a joint party but an alliance of some kind
– Leader of the Liberal Democrat party Vince Cable
Vince Cable told Good Morning Britain how he has been talking to some of the Labour MPs who quit for six months, adding they would form an alliance but not a formal party.
He said: “Over the last six months we’ve been talking to some of this group. There is a very clear understanding of the way British politics works. They have had to make a statement about the nature of the Labour party and Corbyn’s leadership. We fully understand that. If there is any sense and I’m sure there will be there is a recognition that we have troops on the ground, we have the best part of 200 councillors, we have 1000,000 member, we have an infrastructure.
“I don’t think we are talking about a joint party but an alliance of some kind working in Parliament and outside."
He continued to say, “I’ve spoken to several of this group. I’ve spoken to [Chukka] he’s a good friend, we’ve worked closely on fighting Brexit and that will continue. There are good relationships and I expect this to manifest itself in a cooperative relationship.”
On what they had in common, he continued: “We have stood together against Brexit. Their hatred of racism is very clear, anti-semitism, they are very strong on supporting Western Alliance, which is one of their big differences with Jeremy Corbyn. They readily support our approach to the economy, we support private enterprise but in a mixed economy. Our approach to fairer systems of taxation."
He said: “It’s inevitable that if they were competing against each other it would be bad for us and it wouldn’t be great for them either. Under the first past the post system it makes absolutely no sense for new parties to come out competing against each other."
Cable added that there would be more MPs leaving their respective parties: “Simply as a split from the Labour Party, this movement is not going to get big. If the Labour Party splits all that happens is that it strengthens the Tories under our system. I think if we get people leaving the Tory Party, which I think they are bound to do given the way the Tory party is emerged increasingly militant in this Brexit world, I think we will see that happening and we will see something new and exciting happening in centre politics."
Meanwhile, Chuka Umunna MP was in the studio following his dramatic resignation from the Labour Party.
On why he quit, he explained: “In 2017, nobody thought Labour was going to win that General Election and the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister and the team around him forming a Government was not a real one, now it is. In all conscience, we could not pretend that we could sponsor a Jeremy Corbyn premiership and the group around him going into Number 10 and that Cabinet. That’s a real moral dilemma facing every Labour MP.
“National security was a huge concern, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was Brexit, making impossible promises that you don’t know how you are going to deliver on. We need just need a more grown up politics and we just need to give people more of a choice.”
He went on: “This is the ultimate non-careerist thing to do what we’ve done here, and it’s in the national interest. We can’t go on like this. Look how broken it is. We deserve better as a country.”