Former Tory Minister Explains To LBC Why He Has Defected To Liberal Democrats

6 October 2019, 12:19

Stephen Dorrell, who was Health Minister in John Major's cabinet, has defected to the Liberal Democrats. He told Andrew Castle the reason behind the decision.

Dorrell said: "I think if you look at British politics since WWII, both on the Labour side and on the Tory side, the Labour and Tory parties have been coalitions. There have been socialists in the Labour party and liberals who have been moderate social democrats.

"Similarly, in the Conservative party, there have been what I would regard as authoritarian nationalists but there have also been people interested in the development of public services and, of course, the Conservative party was the party that took Britain into the Common Market nearly over 40 years ago.

"But both those coalitions are breaking up.

The social democrats are no longer at home in the party of Jeremy Corbyn and I don't think any liberal conservative, which is what I've always regarded myself as being, could possibly regard Boris Johnson or Priti Patel or Dominic Raab as people who speak for them."

Former Tory Minister Explains To LBC Why He Has Defected To Liberal Democrats
Former Tory Minister Explains To LBC Why He Has Defected To Liberal Democrats. Picture: PA

Dorrell went on to say that people who have been "the liberals, in truth" should "break cover" and join the Liberal Democats.

He explained that "if you have a general liberal outlook on life" then "you belong in an enlarged liberal alliance".

Andrew Castle asked why it is acceptable to revoke Article 50.

Dorrell explained that the Lib Dem position is to only revoke Article 50 if there is a Liberal Democrat majority government. Otherwise, he said, a second referendum is his preferred choice.

When asked by Andrew if people might mistrust the party because of their broken tuition fees promise, Dorrell explained that it is going "to be a complete different vehicle" and it's going to be "a new party, new coalition".

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