Bruce grills Labour frontbencher on Lib Dem coalition
Fiona Bruce tonight turned to the BBC Question Time audience as a Labour frontbencher repeatedly dodged her probe.
The host grilled Peter Kyle on whether Labour would enter a coalition with the Liberal Demoncrats in order to take power if they do not win a majority at the next general election.
Ms Bruce pointed out that both Labour and the Lib Dems have ruled out any deal with the Conservatives but have not done so for each other.
A squirming Mr Kyle said: “We are 15 points ahead, we’ve just had a fantastic set of local elections, we have every reason to believe that if we continue in the way we are, connecting to voters in places where we lost, I mean not far from here in Medway.
“These are places you only win when you’re about to form a government and you are winning and you are on the pathway to government. And we are winning in those areas. So we’re not sitting around planning for a coalition.”
Ms Bruce asked: “Can you rule it out, then?”
Mr Kyle said: “We are planning to win outright and have a programme for government for it.
“There’s only one party that has needed a coalition and it’s the Tory Party in the last 20 years.”
Ms Bruce pressed: “I hear you but nonetheless you’ve ruled out a coalition with one party, therefore you can easily rule out…”
Mr Kyle insisted Labour is not going to need to be propped up by Sir Ed Davey’s party.
Ms Bruce asked: “So you’re ruling it out with the Lib Dems?”
The Labour MP said: “Fiona, there is no evidence…”
Ms Bruce asked again for the shadow cabinet minister to rule out a Lib Dem coalition.
He said: “You’re asking me a question for which there is no evidence. We are 15 points ahead, we’ve had fantastic local elections, we are looking at winning outright.”
The BBC host then turned to the audience and asked: “What do you think? Are we getting an answer?”
Members of the audience were seen shaking their head, while there were calls of “No”.
Mr Kyle said: “Why would you ask a question that is completely not relevant to the reality we’re in?”
Ms Bruce replied: “You can just rule it out them.”
Mr Kyle said: “I just have we’re not going to need it.”
Ms Bruce said: “So no coalition with the Lib Dems?”
Mr Kyle repeated his insistence that Labour is “not going to need it.”
The BBC presenter said: “You heard it here. No coalition with the Lib Dems.”
The Question Time grilling comes as questions have been raised about a possible coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems.
Labour’s vote share in the local elections earlier this month did not definitively show Sir Keir Starmer is on course to win a Westminster majority.
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