Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said he could never work with the Tories under Boris Johnson because they “have nothing in common”.
But the new Lib Dem leader said he has been “impressed” by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, describing him as a “very smart man”.
Sir Ed, speaking on his first visit to Scotland since becoming leader, suggested he would be unable to work with the Conservatives when asked if he favoured a Labour or Tory Government at Westminster.
“The idea that I could work with the Conservatives is for the birds,” Sir Ed told the PA news agency.
When it was put to him that he served in the Tory-led coalition Government, including three years as David Cameron’s energy and climate change secretary, he replied: “I’m not going to go over all that history.
“All I’m saying is this is a very right-wing, Brexiteer government and party.
“We have nothing in common.”
On Labour’s leader, he said: “I don’t quite know what Keir Starmer’s message is yet.
“He probably does, he’s a very smart man and I’m impressed by him.”
Asked if he had learned anything from Sir Keir’s five months as Labour leader, Sir Ed simply replied: “Patience.”
He sidestepped a question about who his party would rather go into coalition with – if the situation arose – saying the next election is a “long, long time away”.
“I’m here listening, to focus on what’s happening today, tomorrow, next week, next month,” Sir Ed added.