Theresa May’s government is doomed to collapse and a fresh election “in the near future” is inevitable, Jeremy Corbyn has told HuffPost UK.
The Labour leader said the Tory minority administration will fail before its five-year fixed term is up and Brits should have a fresh choice on their Prime Minister if the Conservatives switch leader.
In an exclusive interview, Corbyn also talked up Emily Thornberry as performing “extremely well” standing in for him at Prime Minister’s Questions stand-in, as it emerged Unite boss Len McCluskey views the shadow foreign secretary as a future leader.
Corbyn has remained in campaign mode since the Tories lost their overall majority in June and Theresa May was forced to strike a £2bn deal with the DUP in order to govern.
Speaking in the Western Isles, Corbyn said: “I don’t believe they can last.
“They didn’t win the election when they thought they were going to come back with an increased majority. They lost seats. They now rely on the DUP to maintain themselves in office.
“They’ve used £2bn to buy off the DUP with a few pet projects. They couldn’t find anything to lift the public sector pay cap or to invest in vitally-needed health and education across the whole of the UK. I don’t think they can last.”
Rumours have been swirling that Theresa May will face a challenge, with senior MPs such as Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd reportedly eyeing the top job.
Asked if a Tory leadership contest should trigger a general election, he added: “I think it shows a government in disarray and that is why I think there has to be an election at some point in the near future in order to decide the future of this country.”
Corbyn is spending a week touring Scotland where he says a quarter of Labour’s target seats can be found.
He added: “I’m disappointed we did not win the election but we did gain three million votes over the previous election. I’m very proud of that.
“I’m also very proud of the way the party has responded, with campaigning work on health, on mental health, on social housing and social care.
“We are a party that is strong in communities across the UK, we have nearly 600,000 members.
“That is a very strong basis on which we can fight an election at any time Theresa May or anyone who succeeds her chooses to bring it on and I’m ready for it.”
Corbyn has vowed he will lead the Labour Party into the next General Election but, in the future, McCluskey has told allies he would back Corbyn’s fellow Islington MP Emily Thornberry as the leader.
Corbyn spoke warmly about Thornberry, who has been unflinchingly loyal since he was elected leader.
He said: “Emily is great. We keep in touch all the time. On the small number of occasions when someone else does PMQs, I have to watch it at home or in the office.
“I think she performs extremely well.”