Although no date has yet been set for the forthcoming elections in Britain, all three major political parties are preparing for a general election which is virtually certain to be hold in October.
GV Thorpe speaking from rostrum
GV ZOOMS Delegates applaud
GV Thorpe speaking..
GV Delegates applauding
THORPE: "With six hundred candidates and a solid base of six million votes on which to build, we seek a majority in our own right." (Applause). "And follow Liberals, if, and only if, no single party has a majority, all parties are obliged to reply to the question: 'Where do they stand?' I will listen to any proposition from any party leader - The Almighty endowed me with ears - but I do not, and never have believed, there is under present conditions, a sufficient basis for agreement for a Tory/Liberal (Conservative/Liberal) or Labour/Liberal coalition." (Applause).
Initials ET/2330 ET/038
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Although no date has yet been set for the forthcoming elections in Britain, all three major political parties are preparing for a general election which is virtually certain to be hold in October.
The minority opposition Liberal Party opened its annual conference on Wednesday (11 September) in the southern seaside resort, Brighton. Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe addressed the conference and ruled out any pre-election coalition deals with either the opposition Conservative Party or the ruling Labour Party. He told his assembled delegates that he did not believe that there was yet sufficient basis for a coalition with either of the two major parties. This statement was made to placate more radical elements (the Young Liberals) within Mr. Thorpe's Party who steadfastly refuse to accept any such deals.
But the Liberal leader did say he would be prepared to discuss any proposition from the leaders of the other two parties in the event of a tie between them in the next election.
He also announced: "If this country was faced with a catastrophic economic crisis, then we would be prepared - for a limited period on an agreed programme - to join an all-party government of national unity."
SYNOPSIS: Jeremy Thorpe, leader of Britain's minority opposition Liberal Party, opens their annual conference in the seaside resort of Brighton.
Although no date has yet been set for the forthcoming elections in Britain, all three major parties are preparing for a general election which is generally believed will be held in October.
The major question facing the Liberal's on Wednesday's opening day was the possibility of a coalition with the two major parties - the Conservatives (colloquially known as the Tories) and the ruling Labour Party. The radical 'Young Liberal' faction strongly opposes such suggestions. Thorpe ruled out any pre-election deal with either party, but did not entirely dismiss the idea.
Thrope went on to say that if Britain were faced with a catastrophic economic crisis he would then be prepared - for a limited period on an agreed programme - to join an all-party government of national unity."