Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn news: Weak Labour chief orders MPs to abstain on election vote tonight | Politics | News

Labour has confirmed it will not back Boris Johnson when he asks MPs to support his demand to hold a snap general election on October 15. The Prime Minister will need to win the backing of two-thirds of the House of Commons for the country to go to the polls early. He now has just 298 Tory MPs that could back him after saying 21 Remainer rebels following last night’s vote defeat

It means without the backing of Labour, he will fall short of the 434 MPs needed to get that all-important majority.

Labour has now said it will focus on supporting efforts from Remainers to pass an anti-no deal Brexit legislation to prevent the UK leaving the European Union on October 31 without an agreement in place.

There was confusion this afternoon when Mr Corbyn’s official spokesman said Labour would be happy to trigger a snap poll after the anti-No Deal law goes on to the statute book.

This would give time for Parliament to be dissolved for a general election to take place on October 15 – the date suggested by the Government.

jeremy corbyn general election

Jeremy Corbyn has backed down from voting to hold an early general election (Image: GETTY)

But Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer told Labour MPs the legislation should be ‘implemented’ before an election can take place.

Following defeat in the Commons last night, Mr Johnson said he will table an early general election if tonight’s legislation passes through the House of Commons.

The Bill being voted on tonight is designed to block the Prime Minister’s plans for a no deal Brexit, forcing the Government to ask for a delay until January 31, 2020 if a new deal isn’t agreed by October 19.

It had not been clear what move Labour would make, considering Mr Corbyn’s continued opposition to a no deal Brexit and his determination to take on the Tories in a general election.

We have to act with urgency and to pass binding legislation to rule out no deal by the time this House prorogues

Sir Keir Starmer

But Sir Keir told the Commons this afternoon: “I can confirm we will not be voting with the Government tonight and we will keep our focus on the task in hand which is to ensure that we do not leave the EU without a deal and that requires the passing and implementation of this act.’

“In the circumstances where there’s no progress in the negotiations, we’re hurtling towards no deal and the Prime Minister is closing down this place, we have no alternative but to pursue this Bill.

“We have to act with urgency and to pass binding legislation to rule out no deal by the time this House prorogues.”

Separately a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “We want a general election, we want be sure of stopping a No Deal crash out on October 31, we want to be sure of the government being unable to change the date or allow a crash out during an election campaign.

“We have been attempting to find the mechanisms to do all those three things and we think we can do all those three things.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also said Labour will not back a vote to hold a general election and would instead look to prevent a no deal Brexit.

He said Labour wanted legislation to get Royal Ascent, adding “we’re also not going to be tricked or conned by Johnson so we’re looking at every way in which, having secured the legislation, he can’t wriggle out of abiding by the law and implementing it.”

He told reporters: “At the moment there’s nothing that Johnson has done in recent weeks that gives us confidence he’s going to abide by the law.”

Earlier today, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also questioned whether Mr Corbyn actually wants to face the electorate.

She tweeted: “Not allowing Johnson to cut and run for an election simply as a tactic to force through a no-deal Brexit is one thing – and why opposition right to insist on passage of anti no-deal Bill.

“BUT it’s starting to feel like Labour doesn’t want an election at all … and leaving this PM in place knowing he’ll try every trick in book to get what he wants would be irresponsible.

“Opposition must get Bill through and then seek to force election BEFORE Parliament prorogued.”

Mr Corbyn was earlier dealt a hammer blow by his own Labour Party MPs after they warned they will not allow him to fight a general election before Brexit on October 31 – raising further questions over the confidence they have in their leader.

Remain MPs fear freeing to go head-first into an immediate election would open the door for Boris Johnson to score a majority.

This would enable him to repeal legislation extending Article 50 and keep a no deal Brexit on the table.

They hoped forcing Mr Corbyn to wait until after the current Brexit date of October 31 would force the Prime Minister into an election campaign having failed to get the UK out of the EU by the date he had always promised.

One insider present at a special Labour meeting in Parliament this morning said the party’s MPs expressed “overwhelming” opposition to a general election next month.

Source link

Most Popular News