Lib Dems can replace Labour as party of opposition – Tim Farron
The Liberal Democrats can become the main party of opposition as Labour is “locked in a death spiral”, according to their leader Tim Farron.
The Lib Dem leader insisted the party could make a come back despite facing near annihilation at the 2015 General Election.
Mr Farron told the i newspaper the Lib Dems had “wind in our sails”, while Labour was “holed below the waterline” and would not hold to account a Conservative government elected by a “landslide of potentially epic proportions”.
The party was almost wiped out at the last election, where they lost the majority of their seats and went from 57 MPs to eight.
He insisted: “I want to be the leader of the opposition. Jeremy Corbyn is a perfectly nice man, but is demonstrably the worst leader in British political history in terms of effectiveness.
“As things stand, a feeble Labour opposition will mean the Conservatives will have untrammelled power.
“Britain needs a decent strong opposition and my job is to ask the British people to give that job to me.”
Mr Farron pointed to the sharp growth in Lib Dem membership of 15000 and £1.6 million in donations in the immediate aftermath of Theresa May’s election as Conservative party leader.
Only the Lib Dems were resisting a ‘hard Brexit’ and offered the prospect of remaining in the EU following a second referendum, he said.
The idea that the Brexit vote permits the Government to stitch up with Brussels an as-yet-unknown deal that will be fundamental to our country for the next couple of generations without going to the people is utterly wrong.
“To those who want to remain, I say this – the only way to remain is we give the British people a say on that deal and of course they could reject that deal, in which case they would have the chance to remain.”
Asked what would be his message to Leave supporters, he said: “A British one-party state doesn’t fit anyone’s idea of democracy. I am calling upon people who believe that Britain needs a strong and decent opposition, that is clear that is proud of its country that is prepared to defend its country and prepared to defend public services, to support us.”