Jeremy Corbyn is facing demands from over 50 Labour MPs and peers to immediately table a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government and then push for a second referendum.
The prime minister today pulled the vote on her Brexit deal that had been scheduled for tomorrow evening after admitting she would have lost by a “significant margin”.
In a letter to Corbyn, leading pro-EU Labour figures including Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie said it was “imperative to take action this week” to try and force a general election.
“If this fails, we must commit to a public vote with an option to stay in the EU straight away,” the letter said.
“It is imperative that the country clearly knows where our Labour Party stands at this critical moment so it is now time to immediately take steps to move forward to a public vote.”
The letter added: “Time is of the essence and now is the time for us to go back to the public and ask them if this is what they want from Brexit.”
A Labour spokesperson said the party would table a motion of no confidence in the government “when we judge it most likely to be successful”.
Current Labour Party policy is to try and win a general election in order to take charge of the Brexit talks.
Only if it is unable to secure an election will the party then consider backing a so-called People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.
Parliamentary arithmetic make it unlikely Labour would be able to secure the numbers needed to get an early election.
May told MPs today she would travel to Europe to seek concessions on her Brexit deal in an attempt to win over Tory MPs who oppose her plan.
Her statement came amid dramatic scenes at Westminster, as news of decision to postpone Tuesday’s “meaningful vote” broke just minutes after Downing Street had insisted it was going ahead.
Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA union, who backs another referendum, said it was “Tory time-to-go”.
“If May won’t let Parliament decide a way forward, let’s get to the country, let’s get to a General Election and let’s get Jeremy Corbyn as our PM at the head of a Labour government,” he said.