Lib Dem leadership candidate rules out working with Tories: "We were taken for fools"

14 June 2020, 11:48 | Updated: 14 June 2020, 15:11

By Seán Hickey

Wera Hobhouse told LBC that her party will not go into coalition with the Conservative party again, as they were virtually wiped out last time.

Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and she is standing for leadership for the party. Iain Dale was speaking to her about the future of the party when the prospect of joining the Conservatives in coalition came up, and she was adamant to make sure listeners knew a partnership would be off the table.

"In 2015 the Lib Dems were nearly wiped out, we've left the EU and our welfare state is now nearly destroyed, that is the legacy of the coalition government now" she said. "I personally feel I was taken for a fool, we were wiped out in 2015" Ms Hobhouse added when she was asked whether it was actually the case that the Lib Dems were take advantage of in coalition.

Ms Hobhouse admitted that "sometimes you simply have to acknowledge that things didn't work" and noted that because she was in the party during the coalition years she "can actually take the party in a new direction."

"Grown up politics is about saying that didn't go well, it was a mistake, acknowledge it and do something different" she said, confirming that the Lib Dems under her leadership would put their coalition with the Tories behind them.

Wera Hobhouse ruled out a coalition between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives
Wera Hobhouse ruled out a coalition between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. Picture: PA

Although she was thorough in making it clear that a Tory coalition was off the table, Iain wondered if she would "consider going into coalition with Labour" which is where the answers got more vague.

"We need to stand together as a progressive alliance to defeat the tories" she began, which Iain saw as Ms Hobhouse not ruling out "a coalition in principle."

"I will certainly rule out a coalition with the Tory party" she said but went on to say that "what will happen after a successful defeat against the Tories, that will be up for discussion in the next four years."

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