Labour Ministers say it is over
Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, said: "We should listen to the electorate. We lost the election. It is now time to go into Opposition and make sure we can defend the North East against what is going to be quite a nasty Tory Government.
"And if Liberal Democrats go in with them, it will just reinforce what we have been saying which is if you vote Lib Dem, you get a Tory Government. I think a lot of people int he North East who voted Lib Dem will feel cheated. They were voting for change, but will get a very right-wing Tory administration which is not what they wanted."
UPDATE: Apprenticeships Minister Iain Wright also says it is over. "I think given the way that the electorate had voted on Thursday. Some degree of coalition whether formal or not between the Tories and Liberals seemed the likeliest outcome.
Mr Wright, MP for Hartlepool, added: "I think it was right and proper that some sort of negotiation took place to see if there were any alternative options. But it does seem that themost liekly option has materialised."