Exclusive: I would vote down minority Tory Government, says Labour MP


Katy Clark’s comments come after Alex Salmond had confirmed SNP would vote against Tory Government

A Labour MP has said that she would join the SNP in voting down a minority Conservative Government at a Queen’s Speech after the General Election – increasing the likelihood of David Cameron being ‘locked out’ of Downing Street.

Current predictions suggest that the Conservatives may narrowly become the largest party in May’s General Election but will fail to win an overall majority and struggle to form a coalition.

In an interview with the New Statesman, former First Minister Alex Salmond had thrown down the gauntlet to the Labour party by insisting that the SNP would be voting against the Tories in a vote of no confidence (click here to read more).

Now speaking exclusively to CommonSpace, Katy Clark MP has said that she would also vote against a Tory minority Government and would expect her colleagues to do the same.

When asked about a Tory Queen’s Speech vote, Clark said: “I would vote against the government and expect my colleagues to do the same”.

Ed Miliband recently ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP, which Nicola Sturgeon had already called “very unlikely”.

However, confidence and supply arrangement or vote-by-vote deal with the nationalists remains possible.

Clark, MP for North Ayrshire, insisted that Labour should seek to do whatever possible to form a government alone.

“We should go into minority government”, she said.

“We should do everything we can to make a government by ourselves and deliver as much of our programmes as we can”, added Clark.

Salmond was previously unequivocal about the SNP’s position in regards to a minority Tory administration.

“The Tories would have to go effectively straight for a vote of confidence, usually the Queen’s Speech… and we’d be voting against,” said the former First Minister.

“So if Labour joins us in that pledge, then that’s Cameron locked out.”

Any party needs a combination of 323 seats to hold a majority and pass a Queen’s Speech, although this might be slightly lower due to Sinn Fein’s position on abstaining from votes at Westminster.

Current predictions suggest the Tories will win around 280 seats, making it the largest party. However, with the Lib Dems only polling on around 25 seats another Tory-Lib Dem coalition would currently fall short of a required majority.

An average of five current election forecasts suggest that Labour, the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and SDLP parties would hold 327 seats combined, making a ‘progressive alliance’ possible – even if Labour are second largest party.

Picture by Paul SH