The Lib Dem grandee Vince Cable has dismissed repeated government warnings about a “coalition of chaos” because he said the Conservatives were almost certain to win.
Cable, who was business secretary in the last coalition government, told Sky News: “The coalition of chaos stuff is pathetic. It did work last time. People were frightened of Ed Miliband and the SNP. This [time it] isn’t cutting through, nobody seriously believes Jeremy Corbyn is going to get into government. It is almost certain that we are going get a Conservative government, probably with quite big numbers. What we now need is credible opposition.”
Cable, who is standing in the election to try to regain his old Twickenham seat, also claimed the slowdown in GDP was linked to Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
He said: “I’m pretty certain that that is the case. But I don’t want to get too carried away with short-term results.” Cable added:
There are basically two scenarios. One is that the economy keeps growing quite strongly on the basis of consumer credit and high house prices, and we know where that ends: badly. Or the alternative is that the economy is actually slowing, people can see problems ahead. They can see that Brexit is going to be very messy and that suggests a period of not stagnation, maybe worse, and living standards being squeezed. It is not an great outlook.
Meanwhile, Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, is launching his party’s campaign at London’s County Hall.
Nuttall says calling the election was cynical and one of the biggest U-turns in living memory. “It is flagrant opportunism,” he said.
He insists the election is about Brexit. A big Tory majority will put hard Brexit at risk, he claims. “It is a job half done,” he says.
Nuttall claims that increased immigration makes the UK a more divided society. He claims that net immigration represents an increase in the population the size of the city of Newcastle.
He calls for proportional representation and an English parliament.
In the Q&A, Nuttall again refuses to say where he plans to stand. He says reporters will have to wait until tomorrow for his announcement.
He refused to be drawn on whether he will stand again in Stoke or Boston and Skegness.
Nuttall said his predecessor Nigel Farage would play a “front of house” role in Ukip’s campaign.
He said Ukip would be targeting seats “more sensibly” in this election. He confirms that Ukip will “put country before party” by standing aside in constituencies where “true Brexiteers” are already MPs.