No Green in a rainbow coalition

Caroline Lucas outlines the Green Party’s ambitions for the next parliament and beyond.

Those who are still hoping beyond hope for a Labour-led "rainbow coalition" to challenge the Conservatives' attempts to form a government should probably give up the dream now.

Some optimistic souls had suggested that Labour could reach a majority by joining forces with MPs from the Social Democratic Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. But, in an interview for the New Statesman's post-election issue, Caroline Lucas -- the Green leader and the newly elected MP for Brighton Pavilion -- has confirmed that her party won't be forming an alliance any time soon, though she didn't rule out support completely.

As Lucas told me:

I think we would rule out a formal coalition, but we're very interested in talking about ways we might co-operate.

But now that the Greens have a presence at Westminster, they seem to have their sights set on more ambitious goals:

It's only one seat -- but it's the first seat. It was only 24 years between the first Labour MP and the first Labour government.

Read the full interview in the next issue of the New Statesman, out on Wednesday.

Special offer: get 12 issues for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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