Jeremy Corbyn is preparing a Queen’s Speech that he will attempt to push through Parliament should Theresa May prove unable to govern.
Labour wants to challenge the Prime Minister’s authority after she was embarrassed by failing to secure a House of Commons majority in Thursday’s general election.
As a result, she will be forced to rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) ten MPs – raising the prospect that the Conservatives could struggle to pass key legislation such as a Queen’s Speech or budget.
Mr Corbyn has said he is “ready to serve” and lead a progressive coalition that could include the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Plaid Cymru.
“We are ready to do everything we can to put our programme into operation,” he said.
“Parliament must meet and Parliament will have to take a decision on what happens, when a government puts forward the Queen’s Speech, we will put forward our point of view, we are of course ready to serve.”
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow Chancellor, said the party would put forward a Queen’s Speech and urge other parties to support it.
“In the interests of the country we are willing to form a government – a minority government – to put forward a programme, a Queen’s speech, as well as an alternative budget and an alternative programme for the Brexit negotiations,” he said.
“And then it is up to other parties if they want to support us.”
Mr McDonnell later told the BBC that Ms May had the weekend, “if that”, to try to form a government or else Labour would act.
“We have laid the foundations for a minority government, and then eventually a majority government,” he said.
“The instability that we now have is not from the Labour Party or other parties, it’s the Conservative Party itself.
“If we can form a minority government, I think we could have a stability government, not through deals or coalitions but policy by policy.
“That would prevent another election, because I think people have had enough of elections.”
Labour is unlikely to be able to convince Parliament to support any Queen’s Speech it puts forward.
Even if it was backed by all Labour, SNP, Green, Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru MPs, such a programme would only have the support of 314 MPs – short of the 326 needed to secure a House of Commons majority.
With the support of the DUP’s ten MPs, by contrast, Ms May is able to command a voting bloc of 328.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies