Labour MPs raise fears over unstable’ new era

PUBLISHED: 17:28 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 25 August 2010

LABOUR MPs fear the unstable Tory – Lib Dem coalition government will be full of tensions and not last a full term.

LABOUR MPs fear the 'unstable' Tory - Lib Dem coalition government will be full of tensions and not last a full term.

Politicians representing constituencies across Greenwich and Bexley voiced their concerns yesterday after Nick Clegg and David Cameron formed Britain's first coalition government since 1945.

Labour heavyweight Nick Raynsford, who retained his Greenwich and Woolwich seat with a 10,153 majority, was clearly disappointed that Labour failed to cling onto power.

He said: "The agreement between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories was inevitable.

"But, Lib Dem activists are already bored of this and it will cause them a great deal of difficulty. There will be huge problems and a lot of tensions.

"For the moment, the Liberal Democrats have the wind in their sails. They are enjoying their success, but this will not last beyond the short term."

However,, Liberal Democrat Duncan Borrowman, who stood as parliamentary candidate for the party in Old Bexley and Sidcup, said he could not turn down the deal on the table which he voted in favour of, on Tuesday night.

He said: "I fought the Conservatives for decades. I thought there was a 90 per cent chance that I would vote against the deal on the table. I read the package and in the detail I could not put my hand on my heart and oppose it. I am delighted that we will get a government that will introduce a wide range of Liberal Democrat policies on civil liberties, the economy, the environment and political reform.

"But, on the flip side, what were the alternatives? Labour bottled it. They did not want a coalition, that was clear. As much as I would have liked to explore it, a Labour or Rainbow coalition, the so-called 'progressive coalition' was kicked into the long grass by the Labour Party."

Mr Raynsford, who publicly called for Gordon Brown to resign in 2009, countered: "The Lib Dems and Tories are not a stable basis for power. I wouldn't expect it to last the full term, but I don't think that we will see an election this year."

Labour MP for Eltham Clive Efford said: "Time will tell whether this was the right thing for the Liberal Democrats to do.

"Some Lib Dems were elected with a left-wing agenda, and will find it very difficult to work with the Conservatives.

"A lot of Liberal Democrat voters will be extremely disappointed with our 19th Old-Etonian prime minister."

Newly-elected Erith and Thamesmead Labour MP Teresa Pearce told the Times: "There is such a fundamental difference in policy between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives that it is hard to see how it is going to work.

"In so many places, the Liberals were fighting the Tories, and it is going to be hard for them to bury the hatchet.

"For now, though, I am relieved that some form of government has been formed so that we can go ahead and try and sort out the economy and get on with parliamentary business."

All MPs interviewed refused to tell the Times who they wanted to see as the next leader of the party.

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