Tories and Labour Consider 'LabCon' Coalition to Keep UKIP Out
An unholy alliance between the Conservative and Labour parties is emerging, with party members in Thurrock, Essex, deliberating on how best to keep Nigel Farage's new UKIP councillors out of decision-making processes.
Last year, Conservative Party activists slammed UKIP for considering a coalition to keep the Tories out of power in Norfolk, but the Conservatives seem to have adopted these very same tactics as animosity between the two parties shows no sign of relenting.
The Thurrock Gazette reports that in the Essex town where UKIP picked up five seats (three Conservative, two Labour), the Tories and Labour are now in talks over a "grand coalition" which seeks to lock UKIP's six councillors out of the decision-making process.
It had been noted when the results came in last week that UKIP may now hold 'kingmaker' status in the council. But representatives of the 23 Labour and 18 Conservatives members "had anticipated a Ukip surge and were discussing the prospect of teaming up ahead of last week’s vote, which left both Thurrock’s main parties a lot lighter."
One source told the local paper: “I’d lay my money on a grand coalition between Labour and the Conservatives. Talks have already taken place and more are planned.”
But the Conservatives may not even get much from the deal, it seems. The group apparently will not demand senior seats in the council’s cabinet, but instead will ask Labour to vote for a Conservative mayor at the annual council meeting on June 11th.
UKIP's newly elected MEP Tim Aker told the Gazette: “I would not put it past them doing a deal to get us out. We’re used to seeing such vitriol from the ‘legacy’ parties. You can’t put a cigarette paper between them.”
"Whatever they do is their own concern. We will have a list of priorities for our residents.”