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I never join with government concern of life support; Nick Clegg

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 06:32 GMT, Apr 25, 2015 |
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Mr Clegg told the media that he “totally” ruled out “any arrangements” with Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the event of a hung Parliament. He also suggested that any coalition formed by the second largest party would lack “legitimacy”. Labour has ruled out forming any coalition with the SNP. The nationalist party has also dismissed the prospect of a coalition but has offered to work with Ed Miliband’s party on an informal basis to keep the Conservatives out of government. Polls suggest a hung parliament is likely after the 7 May general election, leading to speculation on how the next government might be formed. The SNP is also forecast to increase its share of seats. Media has reported that some Labour figures would see Mr Clegg’s comments as confirming their “hunch” that he would prefer to form another government with the Conservatives. But he said Mr Clegg was not ruling out the possibility of both the Lib Dems and the SNP supporting a Labour government’s Queen’s Speech.

While Ed Miliband and David Cameron have refused to discuss how their parties would respond to a hung Parliament, Mr Clegg has been happy to discuss hypothetical scenarios, promising his party would ensure a government would not “lurch off to the extremes”. He recently told the media in UK that he would not agree to another coalition with the Conservatives if they insisted on their planned £12bn welfare cuts.The Lib Dem leader has also previously ruled out a deal with both the SNP and UKIP. He told the Financial Times he had no “meeting point” with either party because UKIP wanted to withdraw from the EU and the SNP to “pull our country to bits”. He added: “I would never recommend to the Liberal Democrats that we help establish a government which is basically on a life-support system, where (former SNP leader and Parliamentary candidate) Alex Salmond could pull the plug any time he wants. No, no, no.” In the interview, the deputy prime minister also confirmed he would talk to the party with the “largest mandate” first, and said people would question the “birthright” of what he called a “coalition of the losers”.