Corbyn encourages Labour MPs to join rallies against shutdown

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Jeremy Corbyn has written to all Labour MPs urging them to join the hundreds of thousands of people expected to flood the streets in nationwide protests against Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament.

Organisers from Another Europe is Possible, Momentum, the Stop Trump Coalition and Labour for a Socialist Europe are coordinating #StoptheCoup demonstrations set to take place in at least 28 cities across the country including London, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow. Saturday’s protests follow the mass mobilisation that materialised within only hours of Johnson’s bombshell announcement on Wednesday that he would move to prorogue parliament for five weeks from early September.

Jeremy Corbyn has backed Labour activists’ calls to action, urging MPs to join the protests. In a letter sent to all Labour MPs, Corbyn wrote: “Whichever way people voted, to Leave or Remain, no-one voted for Boris Johnson’s shutdown of democracy.

“That is why public outrage to his actions has been so deafening, and why I am urging MPs to join protests opposing the shutdown and the Prime Ministers threat of a no-deal Brexit”

The Labour leader – who will address a rally in Salford on Monday – accused the Prime Minister of “running scared of scrutiny.” Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament significantly reduces the amount of time MPs have to pass legislation to block no deal before October 31st. Corbyn has reiterated his commitment to stopping no deal through legislation, but there is speculation that even if Corbyn’s cross-party alliance is successful, Number 10 could simply ignore a law mandating the Prime Minister to request an extension to Article 50.

Meanwhile, a group of over 100 trade union members have signed a statement calling for mass civil disobedience and wildcat strikes, and Momentum is encouraging its members to “protest, occupy and blockade” on Saturday. Tech UK, a Remain-backing trade association, has created a real-time Google calendar with protest locations, times and other event details which is available here.

Below is the full text of Jeremy Corbyn’s letter to all Labour MPs: 

Dear colleague,

Whichever way people voted, to Leave or Remain, no-one voted for Boris Johnson’s shutdown of democracy.

That is why the public outrage at his actions has been so deafening, and I am encouraging MPs to join public protests opposing this shutdown and the Prime Minister’s threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The longest parliamentary shutdown in recent history comes at a critical moment and shows that we not only have a Prime Minister without a mandate from the public, but one who is now running scared of scrutiny.

This is a government of the elite which threatens our services and our communities through its austerity agenda. He wishes to prevent MPs from stopping his disastrous no deal Brexit plans, and open the way for the Tory party to sell off public services and our NHS.

The claim it is time for a new government and new PM to set out a plan for the country is right, but it is not Boris Johnson or this tired Tory party who can do that. We know any Tory Queen’s Speech will be bad news for public services and people’s living standards.

That’s why if Boris Johnson truly has confidence in his plans, he should put them to the people in a general election or through a public vote.

I am addressing a major rally in Salford on Monday. But there are also public protests across the country this Saturday, and there will be a rally in Parliament Square on Tuesday evening, and I encourage Labour MPs to be present and to share our message.

Yours,

Jeremy Corbyn
Leader of the Labour Party

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