Sarah Wollaston, the new Liberal Democrat MP, said that a provisional government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be "the lesser of two evils" in order to prevent a Brexit without agreement, but added that she thought that he would have no chance of being supported by the former president. Conservative colleagues.

Wollaston's remarks go further than those of her party leader, Jo Swinson, who did not say Thursday that she would support an interim administration led by Corbyn.

The member for Totnes, who left the Conservatives in February to join the independent dissenting group, said that she supported Swinson's position that Corbyn's offer to set up a provisional government in order to to suspend any agreement would never pass.

In an interview with the Guardian, Wollaston said that there could be a defection of the game "Dems Lib" in the coming weeks, which could eliminate the majority of Boris Johnson, and also proposed to have the "Dems Lib" game defeated. cancel the three-week suspension of parliamentary business in the fall to find ways to stop agreeing.

Jo Swinson, the new Liberal Democrat leader, is a party veteran, even of parliament, even though he is not 40 years old until next year.

The party's deputy chief and foreign affairs critic was only 25 when, in 2005, she moved to East Dunbartonshire, becoming not only the "baby of the house" – the unofficial title from the youngest deputy – but also the first representative of Westminster. born in the 1980s.

She held the posts of deputy minister in the coalition government and was a prominent member of the party until she, along with many other liberal Democrats, lost her seat after the virtual disappearance of the party. party in the 2015 general election.

She returned to the 2017 election selection and became one of the party's most visible personalities, long considered to be Vince Cable's natural heir.

Swinson spoke on a number of issues, including the Liberal Democrats' record in coalition with the Conservatives.

In September, she said the party had to "assume the failures" of the coalition, citing that "the hostile environment", the bedroom tax and the NHS had been altered, a policy that was "in the dark". she particularly regretted.

Swinson said the party was complicit in imposing too high a price on the poor to reduce the deficit. "I am proud of what we have accomplished, but I am neither naive nor blinded about it," she told Lib Dem.

"If we want to claim the successes of our time in government, we must also assume the failures. We lost too many arguments. When they fought, we were too kind.

She has also campaigned for a strong anti-Brexit position, which has allowed Lib Dems to achieve their best poll ratings since 2010.

In announcing his candidacy for leadership of the party, Swinson called on voters from other parties to make liberal democracy their permanent home.

Swinson, a mother of two young children, was involuntarily at the center of a battle last year when it appeared that the Conservatives had broken a "twinning" agreement with her while she was on maternity leave to try to tip a crucial vote to Brexit.

The reaction helped push forward new proxy voting plans by MPs.

Peter Walker Political Correspondent


Photo: Graeme Robertson

She added that she would personally be willing to support Corbyn on a temporary basis as the only mechanism for not giving up an agreement, even though she said she did not trust the leader of the Labor Party.

"Jeremy Corbyn is a bit dishonest here, he knows that Conservative MPs will not vote in confidence in Corbyn, they would be happy to vote in favor of not trusting Boris Johnson," she said.

"But it's much easier for them to vote for a more neutral and older statement. All Jo does is it's obvious that it just will not work. If the goal is to get a vote of no confidence, it would be better if Corbyn did not link him so directly to his leadership. It kills him completely.

However, Wollaston said she could reluctantly support the Labor leader's efforts to block any deal, but felt his own vote would not change parliamentary arithmetic.

"Frankly, I do not trust Corbyn, but for me, the general picture is that we have to register as a parliament and we want to avoid any agreement," she said. "In the end, no matter what I do, that's what Conservative MPs would do.

"Of course, as the lesser of two evils, I should make a judgment and probably say: you know what, I think it would be worse not to agree. But you need five or six Conservatives to do it, and I'm sorry, but they're just not going to do it. But they could vote for a time-limited old statesman and that could benefit from wider support, there are a lot of numbers around. "

Wollaston said MPs should be ready to block a parliamentary break in the fall, the traditional period when MPs hold their party conferences, in order to give parliament more time to find a mechanism for not negotiating.

"These three weeks are very precious and I do not think we can justify interrupting the conference," she said.

Wollaston, a former general practitioner who chairs the Health Selection Committee, is the second former Change UK member to join the Liberal Democrats after former Labor MP Chuka Umunna, who is likely to be more hostile to any action likely to place Corbyn in Downing Street. .

Wollaston, planning her move to the Liberal Democrats for several months, said she had always had the idea of ​​forming a new party to fight in the European elections and said the public had "made her verdict ", that he needed subsidies. to unite behind a party.

"We want a unified voice to stay, and I did not think it would be right to put our energy into something else," she said. Wollaston was eager to wait for Swinson to be confirmed at the head of the party because of their close personal relationships. She added that joining the party made her feel like she was "coming home."

She acknowledged however that it might be more difficult for former Conservative colleagues to leave their party. At least one Conservative MP, former Justice Minister Philip Lee, suggested spending the summer thinking about joining the party, which would eliminate Johnson's majority.

"That would change the game," said Wollaston. "I hope this will happen at the time of our return."

Wollaston said that more defections by the Conservatives could have a significant impact on Downing Street, as she thought with her departure party, alongside former Conservative MPs Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry.

"They were worried about a massive exodus and they pulled back without agreement," Wollaston said. "I think we had an impact in leaving and what I would like to see is the same impact as that applied to Boris Johnson."

The member said she was not convinced that Johnson could hold early elections on Oct. 31, to prevent MPs from preventing the UK from leaving the United Kingdom. without any agreement and criticized the prime minister for his appointment to former president Dominic Cummings. de facto chief of staff.

"Can you imagine the instability of our exit from the European Union, with all its disruptions, but without accountability mechanism for six weeks?", She said.

"That's all Dominic Cummings, a man who is now Boris's right hand man and has been found in contempt of Parliament. This is the person who is the number 10 puppeteer. It's a scandal. "

Wollaston said she would welcome a general election and that she would even be ready to retire for a Green Party candidate in Totnes if that party was more likely to win the siege.

"If I ran a by-election, I would have six weeks during this crucial no-talk period for Totnes and give the majority of the government a boost," she said. "I would prefer to hold general elections to have legitimacy.

"I am not the owner and I know that all parties must be generous. All parties need to look at the data and see how we can best avoid splitting the vote. If I have the opportunity, I will definitely stay standing, but it must be a candidate for unity, otherwise none of us will win. "

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