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Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:44 UK
Former MP Sir Teddy Taylor cautious of coalition pacts
Sir Teddy Taylor
Sir Teddy experienced both a hung parliament and a minority government

Former Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor has warned of the pitfalls of forming a government in a hung-parliament.

The ex-Rochford & Southend East MP was part of Ted Heath's attempts to form a government in similar circumstances following the February 1974 election.

Drawing from his experiences of that time, Sir Teddy told BBC Essex all sides would face numerous hurdles.

"It's a nightmare. It seems easy and people always think it's easy, but it is actually a nightmare," he said.

"I wish them well. I hope they sort things out, but it's not going to be an easy task at all," he said.

Sir Teddy, who served as an MP in Southend between 1980 and 2005, was given the task by Ted Heath of trying to get the Scottish Nationalists "on-side" with the Conservatives in February 1974.

However, with this and approaches to the Liberal Party proving unsuccessful, Heath resigned as Primer Minister, handing power to Labour's Harold Wilson.

Sir Teddy said he had reservations about the viability of two parties working together.

"Even if you've got 350 Conservative MPs, they're all individuals who will not agree on the same policies and they may cause trouble," he said.

"So if you have a pact between Conservatives and Liberals, don't think that your problems are going to be over, because I'm afraid you'll have problems with both."

He added: "You'll find the political parties who have joined together are not going to be friends for life, because they'll be thinking about the next election."

Sir Teddy said his preferred option would be a minority government, as was the case with John Major in 1997.

That scenario arose when Taylor and other Euro-sceptic Tory MP's were suspended from the party, forcing Major to make a deal with the Ulster Unionists.

Political parties' websites
25 Mar 10 |  Election 2010



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