Tony Blair advises voters to consider supporting the Lib Dems or Tories

The Independent reports:

Tony Blair has advised those going to the polls to consider voting for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats in order to weaken the Prime Minister’s mandate for a hard Brexit.

The former Prime Minister said it was important to vote for candidates who had an “open mind” on the final deal and that people should not limit their votes to just Labour because the issue was “bigger than party allegiance”.

…Speaking on Sunday on the BBC’s The World This Weekend programme he said: “The absolutely central question at this general election is less who is the prime minister on 9 June, and more what is the nature of the mandate.

“Otherwise frankly this is a steamroller election – is it possible that we can return as many members of parliament as possible to parliament that are going to keep an open mind on this Brexit negotiation until we see the final terms.”

Asked whether this political approach could mean voting Liberal Democrat, Mr Blair replied: “What I’m advocating may mean that. It may mean voting Labour. It may mean, by the way, that they vote Tory, for candidates who are prepared to give this commitment.”

“This is something that’s bigger than party allegiance, in this particular election.”

The former Prime Minister said candidates should be asked whether they backed Brexit “at any cost” or whether they were prepared to say any final deal was not in the interests of the country.

You can read the full article here.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Paul Walter

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  • The problem still remains that most people who voted Brexit still don’t believe that the economy will suffer and many of these think that even if it does it wont affect them. Well there is a reason why the Tories are not going to keep the triple lock on pensions or their commitment not to increases taxes. They know that there is a £200 billion Brexit shaped hole in the road ahead. I don’t know what it will take.

  • Gordon Copestake 24th Apr '17 - 1:13pm

    “Tony Blair has advised those going to the polls to consider voting for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats in order to weaken the Prime Minister’s mandate for a hard Brexit.”

    That doesn’t sound right. I think they mean Labour or LibDems?!

  • Blair means voting Tory when they are anti-Brexit (as well as anti-Brexit Labour MPs). That was his point about cutting across party lines. I’d rather have Ken Clarke than John McDonnell. But I’d rather have Hilary Benn than Michael Gove.

  • So Tory backbenchers and Tory frontbenchers who wanted to feed their personal ambition (along with the more brash Tories who temporarily joined UKIP) were main supporters of Brexit, Tory supporters and donors will be least hit by Brexit and yet the plan to soften or reverse Brexit is to vote Tory?

    Labour were defeated in Scotland by the SNP and today’s latest poll suggests that Labour may be losing in Wales too. Everyone has a duty to ensure that the party that took the UK out of the EU, uses the idea that Scottish people may have more of a say over the UK to scare people into voting against this and makes comments which try to dissuade sick Welsh people from going to their NHS must be beaten back.

  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor 25th Apr '17 - 1:15am

    Blair is skilfully avoiding giving a recommendation that voters vote for Liberal Democrats as the only candidates who will definitely oppose Brexit. The problem with suggesting that there may be Conservative or Labour anti-Brexit candidates to vote for is that, in most cases, these people have still to be selected/appointed. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have both committed their parties to Brexit. How likely is it that their parties will field many – or indeed any – pro-European candidates?

  • Stephen Booth 25th Apr '17 - 8:27am

    Is he saying vote Conservative or Lib Dem out of contempt or spite for Corbyn? A silly move. The Tories are going to be pretty lock solid on Brexit at any price. The only option if you’re against hard Brexit is Lib Dem or Labour, unless you live in Scotland, Wales or are represented by the likes of Ken Clarke or Nikki Morgan.

    Keir Starmer has clarrified Labour’s position on Brexit today although the problem remains of Corbyn who often fails to take ownership of the Party’s offcial policies (e.g. Trident) and positions advanced by his front bench team.

  • Simon Banks 25th Apr '17 - 9:18am

    Liberals advise Tony Blair to take a holiday.

  • A holiday for Tony Blair? How about in a Trappist monastery?

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