Sir Vince Cable said there is a “one in a million” chance that Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister as he predicted there will be a hung parliament, a referendum and another General Election.
The former leader of the Liberal Democrats criticised the parties’ promises to spend “more and more and more”, describing the spending pledges as “real Father Christmas stuff”.
Sir Vince also said Tony Blair or David Cameron would have visited areas affected by flooding “on day one”, suggesting that Boris Johnson lacks empathy and comes across as “a bit of a phoney”.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Sir Vince said of Mr Corbyn’s chances: “The idea of Jeremy Corbyn winning and becoming Prime Minister, one in a million. It’s not going to happen.
“I think we’re faced with either a Johnson majority, it could happen. Although I think more likely, no majority, but hung in a different way, with more of us and more SNP.”
Asked if Mr Corbyn gets into Number 10 in the event of a hung parliament, Sir Vince said: “No it doesn’t and we’ve been absolutely clear we couldn’t possibly allow that to happen.
“It would probably be some more neutral figure and then leading into a referendum to resolve the Brexit issue and another General Election soon after that.”
Father Christmas stuff
Sir Vince said spending pledges of “a hundred billion for this, a trillion for that” is making people “more cynical”, adding: “This is real Father Christmas stuff.”
He added: “The really tough stuff which is how you fund public services and higher public sector pay and more doctors and nurses and teachers, I mean that’s the stuff that can only really be financed with higher taxation because the economy isn’t growing.”
Talking about visits to areas affected by flooding, Sir Vince told the programme: “Well, if it had been Tony Blair or David Cameron they’d have been there on day one.
“And they would have conveyed empathy, which Johnson doesn’t.
“I mean, the Tories regard him as a great electoral saviour. I’m afraid I don’t think he’s showing signs of that.
“I think to be a really top-class politician, an effective Prime Minister, you have to have this ability to empathise with people and their problems, and he doesn’t.
“He comes across as dishonest, a bit of a phoney, and his record of dishonesty unfortunately shows through, and he just didn’t come across right.”
Meanwhile, former MP Lord Mann described the General Election campaign as “boring” and “tedious”, adding: “It’s lackadaisical, it’s tedious, I think. Like the rest of the country I’m thinking, ‘is this the best they can throw together?’
“Shall we say it’s a slow start?”