The Lib Dems’ new pact with Tories beggars belief

Jo Swinson
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Jo Swinson’s Lib Dems have a new pact with the Tories. And it beggars belief. In the first significant phase of a so-called ‘remain alliance’, the party will stand aside for pro-austerity Tory rebel Dominic Grieve.


First elected as MP for Beaconsfield in 1997, Grieve served in David Cameron’s cabinet as attorney general from 2010 to 2014. The Lib Dems’ pact with such people suggests the party has not changed since it served in formal coalition under Cameron.

Boris Johnson pushed Grieve out of the party for his refusal to back a no-deal Brexit in parliamentary votes. Grieve now sits as an independent. But his voting record will be difficult to shake off. The Beaconsfield MP backed severe austerity measures, the Iraq war and the bedroom tax.

New Tory in the ranks

On 6 October, former Conservative cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell joined the Lib Dems. Despite being elected as a Conservative, the move is Dorrell’s second defection after joining Change UK earlier in 2019.

Dorrell was health secretary in John Major’s government in the 1990s. This new recruit further blurs the lines between the Lib Dems and the Tory Party.

Stopping Jeremy Corbyn

On the face of things, the Lib Dems’ new deal with Grieve is about Brexit. But there also appears to be a pro-establishment dimension to the alliance. For instance, Lib Dem MP Jamie Stone recently said point blank that he’d prefer a no-deal Brexit to a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. That’s right: he’d take a Tory-administered no-deal Brexit where the government’s own impact assessments warn of food disruptions over a short-term Corbyn-led government to bring about an election.

A BBC presenter asked him:

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If no-one else does emerge and the choice that you face is between Jeremy Corbyn as PM or a No Deal Brexit, then your position is … You’re a pro-European party, you’re anti-No Deal, so where do you stand?

In response, Stone said:

It is no-deal every time. Like I said, I cannot possibly support him.

Labour’s shadow secretary for Scotland, Lesley Laird MP, commented:

Jamie Stone has let the mask slip. Despite the spin about being a new and invigorated party under Jo Swinson, they are the same party that inflicted austerity on the country and they are now willing to inflict a No-Deal Brexit on the country.

Labour has been saying for months that the LibDems would rather a No-Deal Brexit than for Jeremy Corbyn to become interim Prime Minister

Indeed, Stone’s remarks appear to reflect the Lib Dems’ overall Brexit policy. The party still refuses to back an interim Corbyn-led government, despite that being the only way for the opposition to bring about a general election while controlling its time frame. There are fears that if Johnson schedules the election he could use the timeframe to force through no-deal.

Nonetheless, the Lib Dems are continuing to prioritise protecting the establishment over oncoming climate catastrophe, austerity (which they helped deliver) and even Brexit. They cannot be trusted, full stop.

Featured image via Flickr – Liberal Democrats

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  • Show Comments
    1. Jo Swindle is just a Tory Lite. In fact whenever I look at her facial expressions I get the image of the lights being on but there’s no one home.

      Anyone that would vote for the Lib Dumbs these days is clearly demented. After propping up the greedy Tories for years while they drove many Britons into poverty, they’ve reneged on most of their manifesto promises. They are not to be trusted. They are in politics for their own benefit, not the benefit of the majority of the British public.

      Britain has prospered under previous Labour Party leadership. Let’s give them another opportunity to prove they are the party for the many, not the few.

    2. This article beggars belief. Whatever the arrangement with one expelled Conservative MP it most certainly is not a pact with the Conservative Party. Also, the general tenor of the piece does not betoken origin by a clear thinking person.

    3. The extreme stance of a No Deal preference to Jeremy Corbyn I’ve heard often over the years, and is certainly reflected in the Mainstream Media with its socially rude abuse for the principals behind a parliament. Its akin to “I’d rather be Dead than Red” of the McCarthy era in the USA.
      Stultifying stupidity is the game.
      No General Election in a very long time as if there is no reason why people should feel they are engaged in a democracy by the Official Media.
      Issues simply aren’t discussed.
      Democracy is out on the streets, and is historically violently suppressed by this ruling crowd.
      Can people expect the same treatment again is the question percolating in the mind.

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