Boris Johnson government announces second attempt to trigger general election after vote humiliation

MPs to vote again on Monday next week on PM's call for a 15 October poll

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Thursday 05 September 2019 13:53 BST
Boris Johnson accuses Jeremy Corbyn of wanting to 'stop the election and stop the people from voting'

The government is to make a second attempt to secure an early general election, after Boris Johnson's first bid to trigger a 15 October poll was humiliatingly rejected by MPs.

Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs that an election motion will be put forward in the House of Commons on Monday next week.

And Downing Street made clear that the prime minister will again seek a poll ahead of the crunch EU summit on 17 October, to allow the new PM to go to Brussels with a clear mandate from voters to negotiate Brexit.

Mr Johnson hopes to place maximum pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to agree to a snap election. Labour's support is needed because the Fixed Term Parliaments Act requires a two-thirds majority in the Commons to authorise an early poll.

The Labour leader has previously suggested that he will be ready to tell his MPs to vote for an election once the bill to block a no-deal Brexit has become law by gaining royal assent. This is expected to happen on Monday, after Conservatives gave up efforts to delay its passage through the Lords in the early hours of this morning.

But there are splits at the top of the party over the timing of an election, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggesting it could seek to delay a public vote until after 31 October, in order to ensure that Mr Johnson is forced to extend Brexit negotiations.

'What they [Amazon] have done is use every device not to pay their way,' Mr McDonnell said (PA)

"The problem that we have got is that we cannot at the moment have any confidence in Boris Johnson abiding by any commitment or deal that we could construct," Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4's Today.

"That's the truth of it. So, we are now consulting about whether it's better to go long, therefore, rather than to go short."

Mr Johnson is due to issue a challenge to the Labour leader in a speech in Yorkshire later on Thursday.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "He will argue that Jeremy Corbyn's Surrender Bill will force the Prime Minister to go to Brussels and surrender to any demands they make. This would in essence overturn the biggest democratic vote in our history - the 2016 referendum.

"The PM will not do this.

"It is clear the only action is to go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want: Boris to go to Brussels and get a deal, or leave without one on 31 October or Jeremy Corbyn arriving in Brussels with his surrender bill begging for more delay, more dither and accepting whatever terms Brussels imposes over our nation."

The spokesman added: "For Jeremy Corbyn to continue to avoid an election would be a cowardly insult to democracy."

Mr Rees-Mogg told the Commons: "The early parliamentary motion will be put down tonight as it needs to be on the close of business.

"(There will be) a motion relating to an early parliamentary general election.

"The House will not adjourn until royal assent has been received to all acts. A message may be received from the Lords' commissioner and I will return to the House on Monday with further information if necessary."

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