The Liberal Democrat would never prop up a coalition Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader adamantly confirmed this week
Speaking to Jewish News Sir Vince Cable fired a warning shot to the opposition, claiming prejudice, including anti-Semitism seems to be “pretty severe” in the party, as he assured the community of “personal importance” to good relations.
He said “we’re very clear we would not be going into coalition with Corbyn-led Labour. Simple answer on Jeremy Corbyn, is no”, should there be another hung parliament at the next election.
The former business secretary said: “I’d like to think that we have” won back trust from the community, after relations became strained over anti-Israel politicians David Ward and baroness Jenny Tonge before 2015. Ward and Tonge are “no longer members of the party. Action was taken”, he said, adding that their remarks were “unacceptable” and “embarrassed” them.
The Lib Dem leader welcomed “attracting people who are disaffected” by Labour’s anti-Semitism row, saying he knows of “members of the community who used to support Labour who are now supporting us”.
Cable said he’s “concerned about the wider picture of prejudice which seems to be pretty severe in the Labour Party”, adding that “It isn’t just anti-Semitism. They’ve got Islamophobia too.”
He added that the Lib Dems must “give absolutely no currency“ to prejudice.
Cable, who called for a suspension of arms exports to Israel during the 2014 Gaza war was unmoved on his current position, saying: “It’s a totally different situation”, and concerns are now about “disproportionate use of force” by Israel.
He said: “I would certainly defend the actions I took during the Gaza conflict” when in government, stressing his position during the war “wasn’t specifically directed at Israel”.