Lib-Lab coalition might not be 'progressive', warns Green MP

By staff writers
May 11, 2010

Britain's first Green MP, Caroline Lucas, has warned against describing a coalition of Labour and the Liberal Democrats as a “progressive alliance”, saying that such a name would have to be earned.

While implying that she would prefer a “Lib-Lab” government to a Tory one, Lucas said that she would be willing to work with it on a “case-by-case” basis rather than by joining the coalition herself.

Lucas, who is the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, was elected as MP for Brighton Pavilion in last week's general election.

A final decision is widely predicted to be made by the end of today (11 May) about power-sharing arrangements following the election, which resulted in no party achieving an overall majority in the House of Commons. The Liberal Democrats are expected to make a deal with either the Conservatives or Labour.

The Scottish National Party (SNP), noting that the “Lib-Lab” option would fall slightly short of an overall majority, have called for a “progressive alliance” that involves the SNP, Plaid Cymru and others.

But the Green leader expressed her caution to the BBC this morning.

“This has been getting called a progressive coalition,” noted Lucas, “But I have to say from our perspective there isn't very much that's progressive about Labour or indeed, in many respects, the Liberal Democrats”.

She added, "So this is hopefully a coalition of reform, but I think in order to earn that name, if you like, then thoroughgoing electoral and political reform absolutely has to be at its heart."


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