UK’s Lib Dems target banks to build on momentum

(Repeats to more subscribers)

* UK’s “third party” attacks bankers after poll surge

* Opposition Conservatives warn of risk of poll deadlock

By Avril Ormsby

LONDON, April 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s Liberal Democrats
turned their fire on the banking industry (Read more about the banking industry recovery.) on Tuesday, seeking to
build on a surge in support that has thrown next month’s
election wide open.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, 43, has been projected
from virtual unknown to rising star on the back of a widely
praised performance last week in Britain’s first televised
debate among political leaders.

Polls show the centrist Lib Dems overtaking ruling Labour,
in power for 13 years, in terms of popular support and only a
few points behind the main opposition Conservatives.

However, the quirks of Britain’s first-past-the-post voting
system means that could translate into a situation where Labour
remains the largest party in the 650-seat parliament but no
party wins a majority.

Clegg, a multilingual former European parliamentarian,
bracketed his attack on banks, with broader moves to clean up a
scandal-hit parliament.

“The only party that now stands up for real change in the
old economic and political order in this country are the Liberal
Democrats,” he told a news conference.

Clegg said that U.S. investment back Goldman Sachs (GS.N: )
should be shut out of government contracts until a fraud case
against the firm was settled.

“We believe that Goldman Sachs should now be suspended in
its role as one of the advisers to the government until these
allegations are properly looked into.”

The Lib Dems have called for a 10 percent profit on bank
profits and for larger banks to be broken up to prevent a
recurrence of the global banking crisis.

Clegg refused to be drawn on Tuesday on what he would do in
the event of an inconclusive election — a “hung parliament”
which could leave his party holding the balance of power.

The Conservatives have warned the Lib Dems would prop up
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour party, arguing this would
thwart public appetite for change.

“A vote for Labour and the Lib Dems could leave us stuck
with Gordon Brown as prime minister and the uncertainty of a
hung parliament could kill the economic recovery,” opposition
defence spokesman Liam Fox told BBC Radio.

Clegg will face increased scrutiny on Thursday when the
second of three live TV debates will be held. The debate will
focus on international affairs.

Investing Basics

(Editing by Jon Hemming)

UK’s Lib Dems target banks to build on momentum