MPs will get another chance to vote for an early election on Monday, the government has announced. It comes after the House of Commons rejected Boris Johnson’s plan for a snap election on 15 October in a vote on Wednesday. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour wanted an election, but its priority was stopping a no-deal Brexit. The PM later said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than go to Brussels to ask for a further delay to Brexit. He added that he wanted to give the country a choice. “We either go forward with our plan to get a deal, take the country out on 31 October which we can or else somebody else should be allowed to see if they can keep us in beyond 31 October,” Mr Johnson said.
The team around Boris Johnson already considers the general election campaign underway despite Wednesday’s failure to pass a motion enabling the vote, with the government expected to try again on Monday. Traditionally in the United Kingdom, the government could call a general election at will, but a law introduced by the Cameron-Clegg government in 2011 changed that arrangement, requiring a two-thirds majority in Parliament to bring an election. With polling showing many anti-Brexit members of Parliament are likely to lose their seats when that vote comes, it is perhaps unsurprising the motion failed on Wednesday.
Boris Johnson is heading for a second crushing defeat over the triggering of an October general election, as the SNP – and more Labour MPs – swung behind a plan to make him wait to “let the Tories unravel”. Another Commons vote will take place on Monday, but the Scottish Nationalists signalled they will oppose a snap poll, making it more likely Jeremy Corbyn will do the same to maintain a united opposition. Crucially, the motion will again be under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which means it does not tie down the election date – a key demand of the opposition parties – although the prime minister insisted it would be on 15 October.
Boris Johnson’s prospects of securing an election were fading last night after Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP agreed to block any poll until the prime minister has secured an extension to the Brexit deadline. On a torrid day for Mr Johnson, in which he was hit by the resignation of his brother from the government, he insisted that he would rather “be dead in a ditch” than ask the EU to delay Brexit — even though he will, from today, be legally compelled to do so after a vote by MPs. The prime minister had been expected to turn up the pressure on Mr Corbyn before a second attempt in the Commons on Monday to win backing for an election.
BORIS JOHNSON’s hopes of holding a general election next month were dashed when Jeremy Corbyn decided not to back the Prime Minister’s attempt to force a snap poll. Boris Johnson was defeated in the Commons yesterday as he failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to trigger an election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. His Government fell short by a massive 136 votes, as a result of Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to back an early vote until the Bill preventing a no deal Brexit had passed into law. Now it seems the Labour leader will only give support to an early election if the poll is held in November, something Mr Johnson is keen to avoid. The Prime Minister’s desperation to hold a general election before the October 31 deadline could see him call a vote of no confidence in his own Government, according to Politico.
The government has said a bill to stop a no-deal Brexit will complete its passage through the Lords on Friday. The proposed legislation was passed by MPs on Wednesday, inflicting a defeat on Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There were claims pro-Brexit peers could deliberately hold up the bill so it could not get royal assent before Parliament is prorogued next week. Following Wednesday’s votes, No 10 said the public will get to choose between a deal, no deal, or “more delay”. Downing Street said the prime minister will deliver an address later setting out the “vital choice that faces our country”. “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 spokesperson said.
A law designed to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU next month has been given an unopposed second reading in the Lords and is on course to be made law. The legislation to delay Brexit in order to prevent a no-deal departure will undergo detailed further scrutiny in the Upper House on Friday, before returning to the Commons on Monday. The bill, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said would “scupper negotiations”, passed all stages in the Commons on Wednesday. There were fears it could have been stalled in the Lords, with Labour peer and leading lawyer Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws accusing Tory peer Lord True, who had submitted a raft of amendments to the motion, of time-wasting.
France has warned the Commons that President Macron could veto another delay to Brexit because the demand for a new extension “would not solve the problem”. MPs have seized control of Brexit by voting for legislation forbidding Boris Johnson to meet his “do or die” deadline for leaving the EU on October 31. The legislation requires the prime minister to ask for a new delay at an EU summit on October 17 by extending the Article 50 withdrawal process until February next year. Amélie de Montchalin, the French European affairs minister and lead negotiator on Brexit, said the plan would be rejected if it simply continued the parliamentary deadlock and political chaos in Britain.
France yesterday warned Remain-supporting British MPs trying to thwart a No Deal Brexit that it could block another extension request. French European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin said another delay would not solve the UK’s Brexit ‘problem’. She even suggested that a six-month extension would not be long enough for Britain to sort out the mess. Her colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian, the country’s foreign minister, added that a No Deal Brexit on October 31 is the ‘most likely scenario’. It comes after pro-Remain MPs defeated the Government by approving a bill which would force Boris Johnson to ask for a Brexit extension at an EU summit on October 17 if a new deal cannot pass the Commons.
ELMAR BROK has launched a furious attack against the Brexit tactics being used by Boris Johnson, raging the EU is united in the view he does not have any more credibility from within the bloc than he has in the House of Commons. Brexit negotiations with Brussels have again ground to a complete standstill in what has been a chaotic week in Westminster following the return of MPs to Parliament following their summer recess. Boris Johnson has suffered two crushing defeats in the Commons, as Parliament turns against him and leaves his plans to take the UK out of the European Union on October 31 in pieces.
A judgement in one of several legal challenges against Boris Johnson’s controversial decision to suspend parliament is due later, as the prime minister comes towards the end of a bruising week. Campaigners have urged judges at the High Court in London to find that the decision to prorogue parliament for an “exceptional” length of time was an “unlawful abuse of power”. The judicial review application has been brought by businesswoman and anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.
Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford held a secret meeting over an election strategy yesterday with growing signs of a pact between Westminster’s two largest opposition parties. The Labour leader and the leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster agreed that any snap election must not take place until after Britain had secured another Brexit delay from Brussels, ruling out Boris Johnson’s plan for a contest on October 15. The SNP is no longer demanding that an election be agreed by the end of next week. Mr Corbyn, meanwhile, appeared to have bowed to pressure from his shadow cabinet and backbench MPs not to sign up to Mr Johnson’s schedule.
LABOUR and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP are plotting to team up and stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s second attempt at calling a general election after Jeremy Corbyn voted against going to the polls last week. Jeremy Corbyn met Ian Blackford of the SNP for Westminster today where the pair agreed on an election pact. They determined to only support an election after Britain has secured another extension from the EU, according to The Times. The pact, which comes hours after Mr Johnson’s brother Jo quit in a devastating blow to the Prime Minister, could also lead to parties uniting to call a confidence vote as soon as Monday.
John McDonnell acknowledged Labour is split on the timing of a General Election today – but the party are ‘consulting’ on a way forward. The Shadow Chancellor said party chiefs were in contact with legal experts, other opposition parties and members of the Parliamentary Labour Party about what to do. He said: “People have got different views on this.” “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,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.
Labour will attempt to delay a general election until November after Jeremy Corbyn’s own MPs warned he would lose if it came any sooner. The Labour leader believes he can trap Boris Johnson by refusing to agree to his preferred Oct 15 election date, forcing the Prime Minister to seek a Brexit extension before a poll is held. He has agreed a pact with the SNP that will see both parties opposing an election before Oct 20 at the earliest. Three of Mr Corbyn’s most senior frontbenchers insist it should be pushed back beyond the current Oct 31 exit date. But Mr Johnson said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit further, as he refused to rule out the option of resigning instead.
The president of the TUC, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has called for Labour to support a general election as soon as legislation halting a no-deal Brexit is imposed on the government. Mark Serwotka also warned Labour MPs including Tom Watson to fall in line behind their leader amid an intense debate among senior party figures over the timing of a national vote. The union leader’s comments come as Corbyn meets opposition leaders again to discuss when the parties may support Johnson’s call for an election. Senior Labour figures, including Keir Starmer, have suggested that polling day should not take place until an extension to Brexit has actually been secured.
Labour could leave Boris Johnson to “stew in his own juices” while parliament is shut down by again blocking a snap election, HuffPost UK has learned. Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg will table a fresh motion for an early poll on Monday, the day before parliament is due to be suspended for five weeks. Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, Johnson must secure the backing of two-thirds of MPs to end a five-year term early. Corbyn faced claims from Johnson that he was “chicken” when on Wednesday he refused to back a general election on October 15 until the bill blocking a no-deal Brexit was made law.
Labour will block Boris Johnson‘s plans for an early General Election until November after entering into a pact with the SNP to stop a No Deal exit, it was revealed last night. Jeremy Corbyn held a secret meeting yesterday with Ian Blackford, the Scottish nationalists’ Westminster leader, to agree an election should only be held after Britain has secured another Brexit delay from the EU. Mr Corbyn believes he can derail the Prime Minister’s plans to hold a vote on October 15, forcing him to seek another delay to Brexit. The Labour and SNP chiefs agreed to October 20 at the earliest, The Telegraph reported, although Mr Corbyn’s advisers have told him to go for November.
Jeremy Corbyn’s solution to the fact that many traditional Labour voters voted for Brexit has been an ungainly fudge that is likely to make many Leavers politically homeless, according to the latest polling. While recent events have exposed the toll the Brexit process has been taking in the Conservative party, Labour’s woes are also acute and could prove to be even more electorally consequential. Labour’s Brexit plan – which now includes a tentative commitment to a second referendum – has steadily been moving to the Remain side of the argument in recent months, risking an alienation of their pro-Leave constituents and the loss of Brexit-backing seats.
A SERIES of Tory rebels are preparing to stand as independents in a snap general election in a fresh blow to Boris Johnson’s plan for a majority. At least 12 of the former Conservative MPs are contemplating a run in their seats against any official new party candidate, The Sun has been told. They are Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Dominic Grieve, Ed Vaizey, Sam Gyimah, Alistair Burt, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes, Antoinette Sandbach, Rory Stewart, Margot James and Stephen Hammond. Even if the rebels fail to win them, the move could split the Tory vote and hand the seats to opposition parties, diminishing the PM’s chances of a majority.
MICHAEL GOVE has been forced to deny Boris Johnson is on the verge of quitting his job barely a month after moving into Number 10 – after one senior minister said the Prime Minister would rather resign than ask Brussels for a further extension to Article 50. MPs have seized control of the Brexit timetable by voting through legislation which gives Mr Johnson until 19 October to either pass a deal in Parliament or get MPs to approve a no-deal Brexit. If neither of these things happens, Mr Johnson – who was also defeated yesterday after submitting a motion to call a general election on October 15 – will be instructed to return to Brussels to seek a further extension – something he has explicitly said he will not do.
Disruptive, troubled children thrown out of school or on the brink of expulsion are to be the new focus of the government’s free schools programme, the education secretary has said. Announcing a dramatic change of direction for the flagship policy, Gavin Williamson said that the alternative schools for these children were not good enough and “perpetuated a cycle” of underachievement which simply “shored up problems” for the future. The free school movement, with its emphasis on innovation and doing things completely differently, was ideally placed to provide better options for this neglected group, Mr Williamson said.
Boris Johnson has told the United States that the NHS would not be “on the table” during talks about a post-Brexit free-trade agreement. The prime minister acknowledged that American officials could be “pretty tough negotiators” as he hosted Mike Pence, the vice-president, at Downing Street yesterday, and he insisted that any transatlantic trade deal must work “for all sides”. Mr Pence said that Washington was “anxious” to strike a deal with the UK, which he claimed could quadruple bilateral trade between the countries, and endorsed its choice to leave the European Union.
British Airways is facing the most damaging strike in its history, with nearly 1,600 flights at risk of being grounded next week. For the first time up to 90 per cent of the airline’s 4,300 pilots are expected to walk out, ruining its schedule. The action comes after union leaders and the airline reached stalemate over a pay deal. The pilots’ latest demand was branded “cynical” by BA. As many as 290,000 passengers due to fly next Monday and Tuesday could be affected. One estimate suggested that only ten of BA’s 300 aircraft may be operating on each of the strike days, although this had yet to be confirmed by the carrier.
British Airways is on the brink of its first pilots’ strike after accusing ‘cynical’ union bosses of making an 11th-hour pay demand. The Balpa union has refused to meet BA ahead of strike action on Monday and Tuesday unless the airline agrees to discuss a ramped-up pay deal that equates to an extra £11,600 a year for pilots. While striking a conciliatory tone in public, Balpa sent an internal bulletin to members – including captains paid an average of £167,000 a year – preparing them for more strikes if no breakthrough is made. BA said Balpa submitted ‘inflated’ demands for extra bonuses and perks worth an extra £50 million a year, or about £11,600 on average among the airline’s 4,300 pilots.
Former Chancellor George Osborne’s hopes of returning to the heart of international politics have been thwarted after he failed in his bid to become the new head of the International Monetary Fund. Mr Osborne, now editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper (one of several roles he has taken on since being sacked by former PM Theresa May in 2016), had the backing of Boris Johnson to succeed Christine Lagarde as managing director of the international body. But sources confirmed that he lost out to Bulgarian economist and current World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva, who was put forward as the European Union’s nominee in August.
George Osborne has abandoned his attempt to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund. Boris Johnson lobbied President Trump personally for the former chancellor in a phone call before the G7 summit last month. Mr Johnson was apparently still willing to nominate the editor of the Evening Standard but Mr Osborne threw in the towel. “The US administration was supportive and the UK was willing to nominate him but the feedback was that the European process was too far down the track,” a friend of Mr Osborne said.