Only the Lib Dems can stop the Tories - Tim Farron

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron was in Birmingham supporting Beverley Nielsen for West Midlands Mayor just last week, and in his latest article he explains the need for a strong opposition, and why the Liberal Democrats are the only ones who can provide that essential scrutiny to Tory policies.

Tim Farron says only the Lib Dems can stop the Conservatives staying in power for the next 25 years.

Labour is "beyond fixable" because it has been taken over by people who want to be a "hard-left protest group" rather than a potential government, he said.

And it means "the only path to the Tories losing a majority is through the Liberal Democrats", he said.

In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Mr Farron said Labour could suffer collapse similar to the rapid decline of the Liberal Party after the first world war, when it was replaced by Labour as the leading party to the left of the Conservatives. And he said his Liberal Democrats, the successor to the old Liberals, could emulate the success of the Liberal Party of Canada - which came third in elections in 2011 but won a majority of seats in the Canadian House of Commons in 2015.

Mr Farron said: "In our system, there needs to be a strong alternative counter to the Conservatives. It once was the Liberals, then it was Labour, now it's nobody. So who's to say it can't be the liberals again?"

He was speaking on Wednesday afternoon after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire for failing to capitalise on the Conservative Government's dramatic u-turn over National Insurance increases for the self-employed.