The Green Party is hoping to start discussions with Labour and the Liberal Democrats in a bid to form an anti-Conservative alliance for the forthcoming general election, it emerged on Wednesday 19 April.

Co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley have written to Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron about the plan to stop an "extreme" Brexit.

"Our call for a meeting between party leaders isn't about the Greens standing aside – it's about giving people in this country the best possible chance of defeating the Conservatives and bringing in a truly democratic voting system," the leaders wrote.

"For the sake of our NHS, our welfare state and our environment we need progressive party leaders to ditch partisan politics just for a moment and think about how we can best stop the Tories from wrecking our country for generations to come."

The Greens stood aside at the 2016 Richmond Park by-election, which saw Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney beat former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith. But despite the move and Labour MPs, such as Lisa Nandy and Clive Lewis, urging their party to consider a so called "progressive alliance", there are no plans for a pact.

In fact, Farron has refused to rule out taking the Liberal Democrats back into a coalition government with the Conservatives. "Any serious politician who rules out going into power isn't a serious politician," he told IBTimes UK in December.

"This is the problem I've got with Jeremy Corbyn, who is somebody who is a perfectly nice man but seems to actively not want to be in power. I want to make a difference."

Farron added: "It's not up to me to choose who the Liberal Democrats go into power with if the Liberal Democrats don't get a majority. That's up to the electorate [and] that's how the arithmetic worked out in 2010."

MPs are expected to back Theresa May's call for a general election on 8 June, more than a month after the local and metro-mayoral elections on 4 May. The latest opinion poll from ICM, of 1,000 people on 18 April, had the Greens on 4%, just above the 3.8% share of the vote the party won in 2015.