Tim Farron tops Guardian front page as Carmichael’s “You’re not an opposition” riposte to Thornberry gets biggest Question Time cheer

Last night, Alistair Carmichael took full advantage of the opportunity his last minute addition to the Question Time panel gave him to give both Conservatives and Labour a blast.

Watch him tell off Labour’s Emily Thornberry:

Earlier today, Tim Farron was the top story on the Guardian website as he lambasted Labour’s failure to put up any sort of opposition to the Tories.

In an overt attempt to steal votes from Labour in pro-remain constituencies, Farron said he believed Corbyn had put his party on the wrong side of the biggest political issue in a generation and was struggling because his MPs were increasingly split on how to respond.

“I think what Labour has done is to believe this is too difficult for them politically, let’s just wait for it to go away, and the meeker we are, the quicker it will go away. I think that’s the calculation they’ve made, and this and future generations are not going to forgive them for that,” he said. “We are saying that Jeremy Corbyn and now Keir Starmer [the shadow Brexit secretary] as well – you have a Labour party from top to bottom that is failing.”

Setting out his version of the differences between the Lib Dems and Labour, Farron said it was necessary to oppose the Conservatives over Brexit: “It’s not divisive to hold the government to account, and not just to lamely give up as we go over a cliff, and that is what Labour are doing – they are being the most ineffective opposition in living memory.”

He suggested that the political shakeup set in train by Brexit could lead to his party displacing Labour as the main opposition, as Labour did to the divided Liberals in the 1920s. He even made a comparison to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in Canada, who were third in the polls but went on to victory in 2015. “I feel like we are in a maze, and every maze has a way out. At the end of the maze is what happened in Canada.”

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  • Leekliberal 20th Jan '17 - 7:07pm

    Tim Farron suggested that ‘the political shakeup set in train by Brexit could lead to his party displacing Labour as the main opposition’
    Having just watched the Trump inauguration to confirm that it was really happening, I certainly cannot rule this out!

  • paul barker 20th Jan '17 - 7:35pm

    The point about us replacing Labour in this Parliament is that all we have to do is go on improving at the rate we have been. That doesnt of course mean that it will happen, simply that if its not going to happen in the next few years then our performance has to stop improving soon.

  • Peter Watson 20th Jan '17 - 8:49pm

    Jeremy Browne made an interesting point on Any Questions. The gist of it was that while Labour and the Lib Dems compete to look like the best Opposition, neither looks like an alternative Government and that gives the Tories free rein.
    Regarding Question TIme, from what I saw last night Emily Thornberry performed pretty badly but it was Piers Morgan running rings around her rather than Alistair Carmichael.

  • Peter Watson – But it Alistair who got the biggest cheer.

  • Nicholas Cunningham 21st Jan '17 - 7:42am

    This Country and our democracy are crying out for an effective opposition and our democracy urgently needs it. Yes, the LibDems have a long way to go, I joined just over a week ago because the LibDems lead by Tim are standing up for values that are increasingly being seen by many up and down the Country as the real opposition. Labour is wandering in the political wilderness, their heartlands are being eroded because of the squeeze of not having a clear vision, and their continuing drift to the far left of the political spectrum which will increasingly only serve fewer and fewer of the electorate. Realignment of British politics could be in the offering, Brexit is a disaster in the making, the LibDems will be well placed to prosper, that will only benefit our Country and more and importantly our democracy.

  • Andrew McCaig 21st Jan '17 - 5:22pm

    Well, after hearing him I was hoping Jeremy Browne was no longer a member!

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