Johnson ‘using Queen’ for pre-election Tory broadcast, Corbyn says

‘Holding a Queen’s Speech before an election is a cynical stunt,’ Labour leader says

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 10 October 2019 08:06
‘Take no deal off the table and then let’s have the election’
‘Take no deal off the table and then let’s have the election’

Jeremy Corbyn is set to accuse Boris Johnson of “using the Queen” for a pre-election Conservative Party broadcast just weeks ahead of a potential general election.

In a keynote speech, the Labour leader will also insist he is “champing at the bit” for an early election, vowing to support a Commons vote on one once a no-deal Brexit has been avoided.

On Monday the Queen will deliver a speech in the House of Lords, setting out the priorities of Mr Johnson’s administration, including his government’s domestic agenda on the NHS, policing and schools.

Traditionally, the monarch’s presence in the upper chamber marks the start of a new parliamentary year, but with an election on the horizon, the new session could be over in a matter of weeks.

Addressing this, Mr Corbyn will say during a speech on Thursday: “We will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering.”

He will add: “The government isn’t going to put any legislation before parliament. It has a majority of minus 45, a 100 per cent record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.

“Holding a Queen’s Speech before an election is a cynical stunt. Johnson is using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party.”

His remarks echo those of constitutional experts who issued similar warnings just last week when Downing Street announced parliament would be suspended to pave way for a Queen’s Speech on 14 October.

On an election, Mr Corbyn will claim the prime minister is “pretending that Labour doesn’t want one”, adding: “So let me address this directly: prime minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form.

“So it’s simple: obey the law, take no deal off the table and then let’s have the election. We’re ready and champing at the bit. There’s only one reason this hasn’t happened yet – we can't trust you.”

Speaking in Northampton, Mr Corbyn is also expected to showcase a “preview” of Labour’s next manifesto for government, which he will claim is the “most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times”.

He will highlight his party’s commitments to ban fracking, scrap tuition fees, end rough sleeping in Britain, and hold a second referendum on Brexit within six months a Labour government being formed.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments