Election 2017: Labour would dare smaller parties to vote down Budget plans, says Thornberry

Written by Josh May on 2 June 2017 in News

Plan for hung parliament set out as polls show election race tightening

Photo credit: BBC

Labour would introduce a Budget and challenge the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and Greens to risk a Conservative government by voting it down if there is a hung parliament after the election, Emily Thornberry has declared.

The shadow foreign secretary said there would be “no deals” with the smaller parties if no one wins a majority on 8 June.

Her comments, at a campaign event in Basildon, Essex, go much further than Jeremy Corbyn, who has repeatedly refused to categorically rule out an agreement which would see a minority Labour administration propped up by other parties.

Shock analysis by YouGov earlier this week predicted that Britain could be heading for a hung parliament after a surge in Labour support.

Asked if Labour would be prepared to ask Sinn Fein to overturn its self-imposed ban on taking its seats in the Commons in order to secure power, Corbyn would only say: "We’re fighting every constituency to win this election, to form a Labour government. We’re not doing deals, we’re not doing coalitions, we’re not doing any agreements. We are fighting to win this election.”

But Thornberry said: “If we end up with a position where we’re in a minority we will go ahead and we will put forward a Queen’s Speech and a Budget and if people want to vote for it, then good; if they don’t want to vote for it they’re going to have to go back and speak to their constituents and explain to them why it is that we have a Tory government instead.

“But we will be, if we are the largest party, we go ahead – no deals – with our manifesto and with our Budget and with our Queen’s Speech.”

She then turned to Corbyn and said: “That’s the conversations we’ve had, isn’t it? That’s it. No deals.”

The Conservatives have made the prospect of a so-called “coalition of chaos” a central part of their election campaign, claiming a Labour government would have to be propped up by SNP and Liberal Democrat MPs.

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Josh May
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Josh May is news editor of CSW's sister site, PoliticsHome.com, where a version of this story first appeared

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