Labour will seek a minority government in event of hung parliament

Labour will not seek any coalition with other parties and will attempt to form a minority government if it comes out of the general election as the largest party in a hung Parliament, Emily Thornberry has said.

The admission from the Shadow Foreign Secretary – just one week before the election – comes after a polling company’s model suggested Britain could be heading into hung Parliament territory, with the Conservatives losing their majority and Jeremy Corbyn’s party gaining seats.

Her comments amount to a firm rejection of Prime Minister’s repeated claim that a vote for Mr Corbyn’s party in next week’s election would result in a “coalition of chaos” with Labour propped up by MPs from parties like the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party or Greens.

In an address to the party faithful in Basildon – as the Labour leader outlined his plans for Brexit – Ms Thornberry said: We’re fighting to win and we’re fighting to win with a majority and that’s what we’re fighting to do. If we end up In a position we’re In a minority, we will go ahead and we will put forward a queens speech and a budget“ 

“And if people want to vote for it then good, and if they don’t want to vote for it they’re going to have to go back and speak to their constituents and explain to them why it is that we have a Tory government instead 

“If we are the largest party, we go ahead – no deals – with our manifesto and our budget and our queens speech. And that’s the conversation we’ve had, isn’t it? That’s it. “

Mr Corbyn said: “We are fighting to win this election”. 

When asked if there would be a future deal after polling day, he added: “we’re not doing deals, we’re not doing coalitions, we’re not doing any agreements. We are fighting to win this election on a manifesto I’m very proud of. 

It comes after the Labour leader told The Independent only “winning the election” will be a good result for his party next week, as polls showed his party closing the gap on Ms May’s stuttering campaign. 

In the last fortnight Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said if Labour wins as few as 200 seats – a loss of 29 – it would be a “successful campaign”, while allies have suggested the party is heading in the right direction if Mr Corbyn matches or increases the 30.4 per cent vote share won by Ed Miliband in 2015.

But asked what would mark a “good result” next week, Mr Corbyn replied unequivocally: “Winning the election”.

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