Owen Jones grim-faced during grilling over Labour-Lib Dems 'blame game' – 'Fantasy!'

Owen Jones grim-faced during grilling over Labour-Lib Dems 'blame game' – 'Fantasy!'

The left-wing anti-Brexit campaigner attacked the Liberal Democrats for refusing to team up with Jeremy Corbyn in his latest proposal for an interi

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The left-wing anti-Brexit campaigner attacked the Liberal Democrats for refusing to team up with Jeremy Corbyn in his latest proposal for an interim cross-party government to stop Boris Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal. Mr Jones criticised the Remain party for “propping up to David Cameron” in 2010 but not being prepared to support the Labour Party against a common cause. He said: “The Lib Dems have to decide whether they want to be the handmaidens of no deal chaos. They’re the meatloaf party, aren’t they? ‘I would do anything to stop no deal but I wouldn’t do that’.

“And this is the party that was prepared for five years to prop up David Cameron, austerity, the bedroom tax, cuts to disabled people’s benefits, triple tuition fees etcetera, etcetera.

“But they’re not prepared to countenance a five-week-long, if that, government headed by the leader of the opposition to stop no deal and then call a general election.

“And we’ve already seen the Greens, the Scottish National Party have condemned Jo Swinson for ruling this out and several Labour MPs who can in no ways be described as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s have also called on the Lib Dems to do it.

“And even Guto Bebb who is a Tory backbencher has already come out and suggested that this is one option.

“This is going back to the kind of traditions of the Liberal Democrats.

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“One of their flagship policies, as we remember back in 2010, was to scrap tuition fees then they tripled it.

“Now the only policy that anyone in the country knows about is Brexit, stopping no deal, and they’re not prepared to take action to stop no deal happening.

“Of course it would have to be constitutionally the leader of the opposition who got 40percent of the votes and has his own internal democratic mandate.”

But the Corbyn supporter was promptly hit back by Brexit Commissioning Editor at The Telegraph Asa Bennett, who pointed out the Labour leader could not even command a majority in his party in his support whilst demanding that of the Lib Dems. 

He said: “I can see that clearly, the Labour-Lib Dems blame game is in full swing.

“But obviously you have to look at it from the Lib Dems perspective right now.

He added: “All this stuff about backroom deals and let’s dredge up some fantasy other prime minister like Ken Clarke, Yvette Cooper, that’s all just a gift to Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage because it would just show that Remaining MPs were getting stitching up arrangements to serve themselves and not the voters.”

The Labour leader wrote to the SNP, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru to urge them to come together with his party to stop Boris Johnson from taking Britain out of the European Union without a formal agreement. 

In his letter, the leader of the Opposition said: “This Government has no mandate for no deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for no deal.

“I, therefore, intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success.

“Following a successful vote of no confidence in the Government, I would then, as Leader of the Opposition, seek the confidence of the house for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.”

He concluded his plea with the wish to discuss his proposals further to ensure the “uncertainty and disarray” end.

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