Lib Dem leader Farron dismisses Clegg and Ashdown's talk of electoral pacts


Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron pledged to scrap Sats tests as he branded the education system as having become a "quality assurance industry".

Tim Farron will seek to use his keynote conference speech to position the Lib Dems as the only alternative to the Conservatives.

On the third day of the party's conference in Brighton, Mr Farron is expected to say: "He didn't make an effort to keep us in Europe during the referendum campaign and now he has made clear he won't fight for our membership of the single market".

The Lib Dems also wish to increase housebuilding to at least 300,000 new homes a year, and bring an end to the Government's policy of forcing local authorities to sell high value council homes.

Three months after the referendum result which sent shockwaves through United Kingdom politics, the Lib Dem leader will ask why the prime minister has still not provided any details of her plan.

He will also say that Theresa May must explain what Brexit really means, and will call for a second referendum on the terms of Brexit. "It's not civilised to let people slip through the net".

In the hall, the response was muted, but Lib Dem sources say they were not the target audience.

Mr Farron also condemned the government's plans to expand the number of grammar schools across the country.

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Clinging to his hope of the United Kingdom remaining within the bloc, Mr Farron said: "We trusted the British people on departure in the June referendum, we should now trust them with the destination".

"What are we doing wasting our children's education and our teachers talents on ticking boxes?"

Mr Farron insists he shares the anger of many Brexit voters who were turned off by the move and will tell Lib Dem members that he realised Mr Osborne was detrimental to the Remain campaign after meeting with Leave voters.

"Britain will sleep walk out of the European Union to great calamity to our economy, to equality... unless the Liberal Democrats can grow and build a support to have a referendum on the deal". "So it seems to me, on good democratic principles, we should put the final outcome of that to the British people".

"If we trusted the people to vote for our departure, then we must trust the people to vote for our destination", he was due to add.

However, former Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, who lost his seat at the 2015 general election, has said holding a second vote "raises a lot of fundamental problems".

"We desperately need a new settlement for health and social care funding, and an independent commission involving the public and staff would play a vital role in helping us to achieve that goal".