Published On: Sun, Aug 11th, 2019

Labour frontbencher openly demands election pact with SNP and Lib Dems to block Brexit | Politics | News

The shadow treasury minister has suggested the Labour Party should agree to a “non-aggression” pact with the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Scottish National Party to form a Remain alliance against the Tories. It is hoped that such a pact would see Boris Johnson’s party defeated in the polls. Mr Lewis also admitted Labour have “no chance of winning” seats in areas closely fought between the Tories and the Lib Dems.

In such areas, the shadow minister suggested Jeremy Corbyn’s party simply put up “paper candidates”, instead of fiercely campaigning against the Lib Dems target seat.

He said: “Because the Lib Dems are predominantly targeting Tory seats, it becomes quite simple for the Labour Party.

“These are seats the Labour Party has no chance of winning… so what we should do is to stand a paper candidate in those seats, which means you put up a candidate by name only and don’t do any actual campaigning.”

But in the few seats where Labour and the Lib Dems were serious rivals, the parties should go “head to head”.

This would likely affect just two seats, Leeds North West and Sheffield Hallam, where a by-election will be held after the disgraced MP Jared O’Mara announced he was resigning.

In other areas, the Lib Dems are mainly competing with the Tories for seats lost to a David Cameron-led party in 2015.

Mr Lewis suggested Remain backing parties should only focus turning their fire on the Tories, rather than each other.

He said: “Every bit of air time the parties get should be aimed at the Tories and the Brexit Party rather than each other. It’s as simple as that.”

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The Labour MP’s proposal of an alliance follows the Lib Dems’ win in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election earlier this month, after the Remain-backing Greens and Plaid Cymru agreed to stand aside and give them a free run at the Tories.

As a result Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds overtures an 8,038 majority to beat Tory Chris Davies by 1,425 votes.

Mr Lewis has said the best way of stopping a no deal Brexit is for MPs to support a minority Labour administration and help it introduce legislation to extend article 50 and hold a second referendum.

He said: “Jeremy Corbyn has never been in favour of a no deal Brexit, therefore the Tories, the Lib Dems and the Greens have to make a decision about what is worse: Jeremy Corbyn in Government or Boris Johnson and a no deal Brexit.”

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But other MPs are looking to prevent a no deal Brexit by forming a “rebel alliance” against the Prime Minister.

It has been reported MPs from across the political spectrum are plotting to block Mr Johnson from pulling the UK out of the EU without a deal.

The MPs are said to have ramped up the plans after the Prime Minister upped his threats to leave the bloc whatever the cost on October 31.

Some measures being considered include: emergency legislation, a no-confidence vote and court cases.

One former Tory minister trying to coordinate the efforts told the Observer: “Everyone has to pull together, and that is never a guarantee.

“We are trying to hold together an unholy coalition of moderate Labour, Labour frontbench, Lib Dems, Scottish Nationalists, minor parties, independents and moderate Tories. It’s difficult.”

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