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

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


By Josh May

02 Jun 2017

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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