Johnson set to launch bid for December 12th general election

© UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

Boris Johnson has announced that he will try again to trigger an early general election, which he wants to hold on Thursday 12th December – in seven weeks’ time.

If the Commons votes in favour of the election next week, the Prime Minister will aim to get the Brexit bill through parliament and “all possible time” will be made available for MPs to debate and scrutinise it.

Under those circumstances, with MPs’ approval for an election, parliament would dissolve just after midnight on Wednesday 6th November, whether MPs approve the new Brexit deal or not.

This means that Johnson has acknowledged that the October 31st “do or die” Brexit deadline is unachievable, and that he expects the EU to offer an extension until January 31st as requested under the Benn Act.

“You have repeatedly said that once the EU accepts parliament’s request for a delay until 31 January, then you would immediately support an election,” Johnson wrote to Jeremy Corbyn.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the motion for an early general election will need the support of two-thirds of MPs. Many Labour MPs have expressed opposition to the idea of voting for a snap poll.

Laura Parker, Momentum’s national coordinator, said: “Bring it on. Our campaign will see tens of thousands of people talk to millions of voters across the country. The choice is crystal clear. Labour will unite our country, invest in hundreds of thousands of good, green jobs and bring real change to towns and cities across the country.

“The Tories spent the last decade dividing the country, ripping up our public services and pursuing an extremist, no-deal Brexit. In 2017 Momentum’s campaign swung key seats for Labour, this time we’re going to run the biggest people-powered campaign the country has ever seen.”

Labour’s Valerie Vaz, shadow leader of the Commons, emphasised at the despatch box that Labour rebels only voted for the Brexit bill at second reading in order to amend it and said Labour would back an election once “no deal is ruled out and if an extension allows”.

In a clip on Thursday evening, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Take no deal off the table and we will absolutely support an election… If the EU will answer tomorrow, then we’ll know tomorrow.”

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