10 May 2010

Tories, Lib Dems continue coalition talks

10:47 pm on 10 May 2010

Britain's Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats continued negotiations on forming a governing coalition on Monday.

The parliament has been in limbo since the centre-right Conservatives fell 20 seats short of an outright majority in last week's election, the BBC reports.

Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Lib Dems leader Nick Clegg have said dealing with the country's huge budget deficit is their top priority.

Mr Clegg said the parties were "working flat out" to agree on a new government after the UK general election resulted in a hung parliament.

Senior Tory William Hague said they were discussing "specific ideas and proposals" and were "optimistic".

Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling said the Tories and Lib Dems should make a decision on doing a deal "today".

Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron had a 30-minute telephone conversation on Monday morning, following face-to-face talks on Sunday.

The Tories won the most votes and MPs in Thursday's election, but are short of a majority and are seeking support from the Lib Dems to form a government.

If talks between them fail, Labour has offered the Lib Dems talks and Mr Clegg also met Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday.