Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership contest today means the party isn't serious about taking on the Tory government, according to Cheltenham's former Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood.
Martin said "The Conservatives are frantically unravelling the coalition government's good work. They are undoing green measure after green measure, they've backtracked on equity for mental health and the hard-won deal for long-term social care. And they're ploughing ahead with the upgrade of the Trident nuclear missile system, just when we should be championing multilateral disarmament worldwide. They want to abolish the human rights act and many of them want to take us out of Europe with disastrous consequences for British jobs and the fight against cross-border crime.' This is a government that demands effective opposition.
"But those who were looking to the Labour Party to provide that opposition must be in despair today. I know Jeremy Corbyn. He is a decent, honest, unspun politician. He was always happy to support progressive motions in parliament criticising his own government during the Blair/Brown years. But he believes we can basically ignore or even increase this country's colossal budget deficit, embark on a huge programme of renationalisation and take us out of NATO and possibly Europe too. That isn't a credible agenda even for most Labour MPs, let alone the rest of the country. And they are already plotting their new leader's downfall, promising a period of protracted and vicious in-fighting. This is simply a gift to the Tory government who will popping the champagne corks today.
"Responsibility increasingly falls on the Liberal Democrats, united under Tim Farron's campaigning leadership, to provide effective, relevant opposition to the Conservative government. In Gloucestershire we are well placed to take up that responsibility. I would urge all those progressive voters who are serious about determined, realistic and credible opposition to the Tories to join us today."