The Labour leader has been relentless throughout the past two years in his campaign for another election following the last vote in 2017. However in a major u-turn, Mr Corbyn failed to support the Government motion on Wednesday for an early poll on October 15 and was branded a “chicken” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Labour abstained from the vote which resulted in the Government motion falling short of the two-thirds majority required under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA).
The Commons voted 298 to 55 – 136 short of the number need to trigger a vote.
The Labour leader has insisted he would not entertain an election until the prospect of a no deal Brexit is completely off the table – a move which has divided some quarters of his party.
One party insider told the Financial Times there are fears Labour “will look cowardly if it refuses to back an early poll”.
On Monday Mr Johnson is set have another go at triggering an election and is set to table the same motion to the Commons.
Jeremy Corbyn has so far refused to back a general election
However, following a meeting with opposition leaders on Friday, led by Mr Corbyn, the vote looks destined to fail once more – which will continue to exclude the public from having a say on Brexit.
A Labour Party spokesman yesterday said: “Jeremy Corbyn hosted a positive conference call with other opposition party leaders this morning.
“They discussed advancing efforts to prevent a damaging no deal Brexit and hold a general election once that is secured.”
Jeremy Corbyn abstained from the vote on Wednesday for a general election
The Liberal Democrats confirmed “as a group we will all vote against or abstain on Monday”.
Ahead of his meeting with the Queen in Balmoral on Friday evening, Mr Johnson said he was “perplexed” by the opposition leaders decision not to hold a general election.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said he did not want to fall into a “trap” by voting for an election.
He told Sky news: “We have to be careful that we don’t walk into a trap.
Boris Johnson has been thwarted from delivering a no deal Brexit
“I want the removal of Boris Johnson. I want an election. But we’ll do it in a way that there are not unintended consequences.”
Meanwhile the legislation to prevent a no deal Brexit moved once step closer to becoming law after the House of Lords approved the bill.
The motion requires a delay to Brexit beyond October 31 unless a divorce deal is approved or Parliament agrees to leaving the EU without one by October 19.
The bill is now expected to receive royal assent on Monday, thereby completing all stages required to become law.
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Boris Johnson has so far said he will refuse to ask for a Brexit delay
On Thursday the Prime Minister said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for a further delay from Brussels.
Yesterday Mr Johnson refused to confirm whether he would go to the EU for an extention to Article 50 even if the motion becomes law.
The Prime Minister said: “I don’t want a delay.”
Mr Johnson added: “The Bill that is still before Parliament would, in theory, mean that the Government of the UK was obliged to write a letter to Brussels asking for a pointless delay to leaving the EU.
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How the UK voted in the 2016 EU referendum
“I don’t think that’s what people want and I think we were very clear about that and not only would it oblige the Government to do that, it would give the EU the power to decide how long the UK had to stay in and I really can’t think for the life of me that that is a democratic way forward.
“The big picture is we’ve spent a long time trying to sort of fudge this thing and I think the British public really want us to get out.
“They don’t want more dither and delay.”
Mr Johnson added: “We can get out of the EU on October 31 and that’s what we intend to do.”
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