Greens hint at electoral pact with Labour
Caroline Lucas has hinted that Jeremy Corbyn’s office is open to at an election pact with the Green Party.
The MP for Brighton Pavillion told the Guardian: “My office got a message from his office saying that they were interested in meeting to discuss it. That’s as far as we’ve gone because, of course, we’ve had an election campaign.”
The Green Party’s only MP, Ms Lucas is running to replace Natalie Bennett on a ticket with Johnathan Bartley, has since co-edited a book with Labour MP Lisa Nandy about cross-party co-operation on issues like electoral reform.
Suggestions of an official alliance between the two parties have been shot down by Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy, Tom Watson.
In a tweet, Mr Watson said: “Last day of holiday and phone on meltdown. Just to confirm, I am not aware of any talks relating to an electoral pact with the Green party.”
Ms Lucas had said the Labour Party leader was unlikely to make anything official during a leadership race.
“I’m hopeful because more and more people in the Labour party are recognising that, no matter who their leader is, they’re very unlikely to form an outright majority government in the next election, with what’s happening with the constituency boundary changes,” Lucas said.
“Once you’ve got a Labour party in whose interests electoral reform is, then obviously that’s a gamechanger.
“I’m imagining people in Labour are looking at Scotland, where they got about 25% of the vote in the general election and just one seat. That isn’t fair for them.”
Support for electoral reform from different wings of the Labour Party, with high profile Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, backing PR.
Lucas said it remained to be seen what any progressive alliance might seek beyond a push for voting change, and stressed any pacts must be instigated at a local level.
“We’re not talking about a blueprint and we’re certainly not talking about something imposed from the centre to the local areas,” she added.