Johnson moves motion for early election after heavy defeat

Sienna Rodgers

Boris Johnson has moved a motion under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act for a snap election, which the government has said would take place on October 15th. MPs are set to vote on it tomorrow, after considering the Benn Bill opposing no deal.

Labour has confirmed that it will support a motion for an early election as soon as the legislation preventing no deal on October 31st and extending Article 50 becomes law, which the party expects to be by Friday night.

But a number of Labour MPs have told LabourList that they are concerned about the party leadership not planning to wait for Johnson to request the Article 50 extension. They do not trust that the Prime Minister will necessarily abide by the Benn Bill, although he assured the Commons that he would do so this afternoon.

“The leader of the opposition has been begging for an election for two years. He has crowds of supporters outsider calling for an election,” the Prime Minister told the chamber following his heavy defeat at the hands of anti-no deal MPs tonight.

“I don’t want an election but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and to compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this and I can confirm that we are tonight tabling a motion under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.”

In response to the vote result and Johnson’s statement, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I welcome tonight’s vote. We live in a parliamentary democracy; we do not have a presidency, but a Prime Minister. Prime Ministers govern with the consent of the House of Commons, representing the people in whom the sovereignty rests.

“There is no consent in this House to leave the European Union without a deal. There is no majority for no deal in the country. As I’ve said before, if the Prime Minister has confidence in his Brexit policy, when he has one he can put forward, he should put it before the people in a public vote.

“And so, he wants to table a motion for a general election: fine – get the bill through first in order to take no deal off the table.”

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