Wednesday, February 21

Second attempt to trigger a snap election



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.

“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.