Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has said Jeremy Corbyn does not have “the numbers” to lead an interim government, citing recent resignations from former MPs over alleged antisemitism in the party.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, Swinson reiterated she would not back Corbyn as the leader of a caretaker government, telling the programme she believes the Labour leader “doesn’t have the numbers” to be able to head any interim government.
“And let’s remember why he is far short, part of that is because there are people who were Labour MPs who have left the Labour party because their failure to deal with antisemitism,” she added.
“We are not talking about something that is irrelevant or a minor problem about something, we are talking about the fundamental value of whether people are treated with equality.”
Swinson said she expects more MPs to defect to the Liberal Democrats, claiming “a lot of MPs” are unhappy in their current parties.
She said: “I’m not going to go into the details of private conversations, you’ll understand that, but I’d certainly say I’m still having conversations and indeed people in the Labour party are very unhappy too not just for the reasons I mentioned about Corbyn’s inability to tackle antisemitism, but also their failure on Brexit, the biggest issue of the day where the leader of the Opposition didn’t stand up for the national interest and say that we should stop Brexit.”
Labour’s press team responded to the comments, tweeting on Sunday morning: “The Lib Dems have previously said they couldn’t work with Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband or Jeremy Corbyn.
“But they did jump into bed with David Cameron and George Osborne and imposed a decade of austerity on our country. #Ridge”
Luciana Berger, who quit Labour earlier this year citing concerns about “institutional antisemitism”, quit Change UK in June before defecting to the Lib Dems last month.