Lib Dem Ed Davey rules out coalition with Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn as he launches party leadership bid

Posted On: 
30th May 2019

Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has ruled out taking his party into coalition with a Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn-led government as he launched his bid to be its next leader.

Ed Davey launched his bid to be the next Lib Dem leader in London
PA Images

The former Cabinet minister in the Tory-Lib Dem administration said there was “no way” he would guide his party into a similar pact if their MPs were in the position to be kingmakers following a snap general election.

Sir Ed’s bid for the top job marks him as the first to formally declare himself in the running, following Sir Vince Cable's announcement that he will stand down as leader in late July.

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Announcing his bid in central London, the Kingston and Surbiton MP said: “The idea that we have anything in common with Boris Johnson or frankly the Tory party when they’re promoting this hard Brexit, just no way.

“And on Jeremy Corbyn, I don’t trust him on Brexit, his own party don’t, and I don’t trust him on the economy either. We’re not going into coalition with these people. But if you vote Liberal Democrat you will get more Liberal Democrat MPs.”

The intervention comes after the Lib Dems beat the Tories and Labour to finish second at the EU elections, as pro-Remain voters aired their frustrations at the two main parties.

When pressed on whether he could support a Queen’s Speech that would allow either of the major Westminster parties to run a minority government, Sir Ed added: “I’m here to make sure the Liberal Democrats are writing that Queen’s Speech.

“I’m not interested in conditions or hypotheticals, I’m interested in winning for the Liberal Democrats.

"Did you just not know that last Thursday we won, we beat Labour and the Tory party for the first time in 100 years? Let’s not put a cap on our ambitions.”

Elsewhere Sir Ed said MPs from pro-EU rivals Change UK should join the Lib Dems, after none of their candidates were elected to Brussels as the newly-formed party scooped up just 3% of the vote.

"All I say to any voter member or MP is come and join us. Come and join the biggest remain party in the United Kingdom, come and help us stop Brexit," he continued.

"I don’t think we should be distracted by talks of mergers and pacts with other parties.”