Jeremy Corbyn aims for united response to block Johnson election bid
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, will on Friday look to thwart Boris Johnson’s plan for an October 15 general election when he discusses tactics with other UK opposition parties.
Mr Corbyn, backed by senior Labour figures, argues that the opposition should only agree to a snap election once Mr Johnson has been forced to take a no-deal Brexit off the table.
Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, confirmed Mr Corbyn would host a conference call of opposition leaders on Friday to discuss a united response when Mr Johnson makes his second bid to hold an early election on Monday.
She said a no-deal Brexit had to be excluded before an election took place. “This crisis has to be sorted before we do anything else,” she told the BBC’s Today programme. “Let’s deal with the immediate crisis first, then have an election.”
Ms Thornberry said the prime minister was “a manifest liar” who could not be trusted not to use the device of an early general election to try to bounce the country out of the EU without a deal on October 31.
Peers are expected on Friday to conclude their scrutiny of emergency legislation intended to block a no-deal Brexit. The measure, which would require the prime minister to seek a delay to Brexit if there was no deal on the table, is expected to receive royal assent on Monday.
Mr Corbyn and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford agreed in principle on Thursday that an election should not take place until Mr Johnson had sought that extension to the Article 50 exit process at an EU summit on October 17-18.
The prime minister has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit any further but his team have refused to say whether he would resign rather than be forced to go on bended knee to Brussels to seek an extension.
After a torrid week of multiple defeats in the House of Commons, his purge of 21 moderate Tory MPs and the resignation of his brother Jo Johnson, the prime minister heads to Scotland on Friday on a campaigning visit.
The prime minister’s trip will include a meeting with the Queen at her Balmoral estate. He will also use his visit to Scotland to announce an additional £51.4m for Scottish farmers over the next two years.