SHADOW health secretary Jonathan Ashworth ruled out a “backroom deal” for a left alliance with the Greens yesterday, citing the disaster of the Con-Dem coalition.
Green co-leader Caroline Lucas made a call for “grownup politics” on yesterday’s Today programme, saying the Greens, Lib Dems and Labour should strategically step aside in certain constituencies to unseat the Tories.
The Greens have pulled their candidate out of Oxford West and Abingdon to allow the Lib Dems to stand against Health Minister Nicola Blackwood and given Labour’s Rupa Huq a clean chance to defend her thin majority in Ealing Central and Acton.
Ms Lucas, who is defending the Green’s only seat of Brighton Pavilion, accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of betraying the electorate by playing by the traditional rules.
She told BBC Radio 4: “We need Jeremy Corbyn to get around a table with us.
“I think what is so disappointing is that he talks about doing politics differently and yet he is betraying the mass of the people that he says he represents by allowing them to be hit hardest by a massive Tory majority.
“We’ve still got a few more days where we could build on these alliances, which it isn’t just the Green Party asking for them, it is people up and down the country begging parties of the left and the centre-left to get together to do grown-up politics.”
But Mr Ashworth ruled out a pact. Asked why they would not make an alliance, he told the Today programme: “Because we are a national party and we have a responsibility to give every part of England, Scotland and Wales the opportunity to vote for a Labour candidate.
“I’ve been involved in lots of elections and, in my experience, politicians who try and do these backroom deals never ever come out of it well.”
The Lib Dems infamously propped up a minority Tory administration from 2010 to 2015, reneging on their pledge on scrapping tuition fees and defending civil liberties as they helped institute a vicious austerity agenda.