Theresa May appeals to Lib Dem defectors to stick with Tories and avoid 'drift and division'

THERESA May today appeals to Lib Dem defectors in the West Country to stick with the Tories to avoid “years of drift and division”.

The PM makes her first campaign visit to the South West to take on the threat of a resurgent Liberal Democrat party boosted by Remain voters.

David Cameron won a surprise majority at the 2015 general election by ousting a dozen Lib MPs in the region.

But Tim Farron’s party is appealing to them to return in a bid to reverse the EU referendum decision and end Brexit.

Writing in the Western Morning News today, the PM insists it is wrong for any politicians to “rerun old arguments” during the election campaign, and instead “move beyond the language of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’”.


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Appealing for voters’ help to prevent another messy coalition, Mrs May instead argues: “At the last election, voters here in the South-West were the difference between a strong, majority government and a weak, unstable coalition of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

“The opposition parties are lining up to prop up Jeremy Corbyn and disrupt our Brexit negotiations – a recipe for years of drift and division at this crucial time.”

At a rally this afternoon, Mrs May will also ask for as many votes as possible to strengthen her hand against the 27 other EU leaders at the Brexit negotiating table.

Opinion polls so far reveal very few Tory voters from the 2015 election are abandoning the party so far.

Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, whose 56 MPs were lashed to just eight two years ago, will make his own entry to the campaign today.

The party foreign affairs spokesman will claim the average UK household will be £500 worse off this year than last because of Brexit.

Mr Clegg will say: “My argument today is simple: Our country cannot thrive without a strong economy. We can’t have a strong economy and a hard Brexit”.

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