Labour 'studying deal with Lib Dems and Greens' to stop Paul Nuttall - report
Jeremy Corbyn’s team have explored a tie-up with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens in Stoke-on-Trent in order to keep Ukip leader Paul Nuttall from winning the upcoming by-election, it has emerged.
A senior figure in the Labour leader’s office has asked a go-between to find out how the party could persuade the Lib Dems and Greens to rein in their campaigns or even withdraw from the race, The Guardian reports.
Labour officials have not had any direct contact with either of the parties.
Mr Nuttall is running as Ukip’s candidate in the by-election, triggered by Labour MP Tristram Hunt’s resignation last month. Mr Hunt held a majority of 5,000 votes in the 2015 general election, with Ukip in second.
Mr Nuttall is up against Labour’s candidate, Gareth Snell, a former local councillor.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has previously ruled out a pact with Jeremy Corbyn, labelling the Labour leader “electorally toxic”. But other senior Lib Dems and Greens are open to the idea of collaborating to keep Mr Nuttall out of parliament, the paper says.
The Lib Dems and the Greens collaborated in the recent Richmond Park by-election, with the Greens backing Lib Dem candidate Sarah Olney, who won the seat.