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‘No pacts’ with Labour to beat Tories in upcoming by-elections, say Lib Dems

Sir Ed Davey’s comments come after the Lib Dems’ deputy leader would not rule out a deal with Sir Keir Starmer’s party to defeat the Conservatives.

20 May 2022

The Lib Dem leader has insisted there are “no pacts” with Labour to defeat the Tories in two upcoming by-elections to replace MPs who resigned in disgrace.

The Conservative Party officially triggered the contests for the vacant seats in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, on Tuesday.

The Wakefield election follows the resignation of ex-Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan after his conviction for sexually assaulting a boy.

Neil Parish, also a former Tory MP, quit his Tiverton and Honiton seat after he admitted watching pornography in Parliament.

Asked if any arrangements had been made with Labour to help secure either contest, Sir Ed Davey told the PA news agency: “There are no pacts or no deals now or in future.”

It comes after the Lib Dems’ deputy leader would not rule out a pact with Sir Keir Starmer’s party to defeat the Conservatives.

Launching his party’s campaign in Tiverton and Honiton, Sir Ed told PA: “The reality is everyone knows Liberal Democrats are the challengers here.

“We have a great legacy in the West Country. We’ve just won control of Somerset Council from the Conservatives.

“So, we are the challengers to the Conservatives. It’s going to be tough here, I’m (under) no illusion we have to work hard, we’re not going to take local people for granted like the Conservatives.”

Daisy Cooper previously said the Lib Dems had “no interest in doing a coalition with this Conservative Government at all”, adding that “one way or another we would like to play a role in ousting” them.

Asked on May 8 if her party was not ruling out a coalition with Labour, she told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “The Liberal Democrats have said that we want to win as many seats as possible off the Conservatives at the next general election and, one way or another, we would like to play a role in ousting this Conservative Government.

“It is far too soon – what that might look like, how that might work, but we would want to play a role in ousting this Conservative Government, that’s our number one priority.”

The Lib Dems announced on Friday that their candidate in Tiverton and Honiton will be former army major, Richard Foord.

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