‘No way’: Lib Dems reiterate opposition to Jeremy Corbyn as interim PM

Jeremy Corbyn

There is “no way” the Liberal Democrats could support Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn as an interim prime minister if Boris Johnson is toppled from power, the party’s leader has said.

Jo Swinson raised Mr Corbyn’s record on antisemitism as she reiterated her stance that the Labour leader is “not fit” to enter 10 Downing Street, even on a temporary basis.

Amid the continuing Brexit deadlock at Westminster, the Labour leader has offered to serve as prime minister for a short period in order to secure a fresh delay to the UK’s departure from the EU and call a general election.

However, Mr Corbyn’s plan unravelled after he failed to secure the backing of other opposition parties.

He has since twice voted against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a snap election, instead focussing Labour’s efforts on delaying Brexit beyond 31 October in order to rule out a no-deal departure from the EU.

Ms Swinson, who has suggested other senior MPs as a possible short-term premier, confirmed her resistance to Mr Corbyn serving as an interim prime minister.

She told Sky News’ Kay Burley@Breakfast show: “There’s no way that Liberal Democrats can support Jeremy Corbyn to be an interim prime minister or prime minister at all.

“First of all he doesn’t have the numbers, and never will have in terms of the confidence of the House of Commons.

“And, second of all, this is a man who has spectacularly failed to tackle the scourge of antisemitism in his own party.

“This isn’t some trivial policy difference, this is about the fundamental values of equality.

“He’s not fit to be prime minister, Boris Johnson is not fit to be prime minister and, so, whenever a general election comes I, as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, will be standing as a candidate to be prime minister.”

Mr Corbyn has called antisemitism a “poison” and defended his party’s “robust process” to deal with any instances of antisemitism.

The Lib Dems, who want to halt Brexit, have today tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech – which laid out Mr Johnson’s legislative agenda – in an attempt to secure a second EU referendum.

This would give voters the choice between a Brexit deal or remaining in the EU.

Ms Swinson insisted “it is still possible to stop Brexit”, as she urged people to attend a march in Westminster on Saturday in support of the People’s Vote campaign.

But the Lib Dem leader doesn’t believe voters in Scotland should be offered their own second referendum on independence.

“I am entirely consistent. I think in Scotland we are better off in the UK, and in the UK we are better off in the EU,” she said.

Ms Swinson added: “We need a path out of this current Brexit chaos, the best way to do that is a People’s Vote.

“Having a second independence referendum in Scotland is only going to add chaos to the situation and it’s the last thing Scotland’s economy and people in Scotland need.”