Sunday Shows Round-Up: '30 Plus' Tory MPs Will Try To Block No-Deal Brexit

David Gauke says he will quit, Dominic Grieve reveals how he plans to prevent no-deal and John McDonnell blames drunk reporters for Labour split stories.

The Tory leadership race increasingly feels like it’s already over, with Boris Johnson on course to takeover as prime minister later this month.

On the Sunday shows this morning, Tory splits over no-deal continued and Labour guests once again found themselves defending allegations of anti-Semitism. There was also some baaaad news for sheep.

MPs opposed to no-deal are running out of time and opportunities to make their move.

Dominic Grieve confirmed today he could use a bill related to Northern Ireland tomorrow to try and block a no-deal Brexit. It was “perfectly legitimate” to try and amend the legislation to ensure “how a Brexit deal is fully debated before it takes place”, he said.

He also told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics he would “be prepared to vote no confidence” in his own government to bring it down in order to stop no-deal.

Former Conservative leadership contender Sam Gyimah told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday that “30 plus” Conservative MPs would vote to block no-deal if given the chance.

“What they’ll be looking to do is stop the new prime minister from proroguing parliament in order to deliver no deal but, also, create options for the new prime minister so, that no deal is not the option we face on 31 October,” he said.

David Gauke, the justice secretary, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he expected “innovation” from Commons Speaker John Bercow to help MPs block a no-deal if there was no legislation put forward for MPs to amend.

“I think the likelihood is that parliament will find a mechanism somehow between now and the 31st October,” he said.

Gauke said he expected he would quit the cabinet before Boris Johnson fires him.

“I suspect that I will possibly have gone before then. If Boris’s position, assuming that he wins – if Boris’s position is that he’s going to require every member of the Cabinet to sign up to being prepared to leave without a deal on the 31st October, to be fair to him I can’t support that policy and so I would resign in advance,” he said.

Dominic Raab meanwhile said all the UK needed to do to handle a no-deal exit was a bit more “can-do spirit”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg told Pienaar he was not that “ambitious” but asked if he wanted a job in Johnson’s government he said: “I will do anything Boris Johnson wants me to do to support him... If he wanted me to help him of course I would do it.”

Labour, of course, has still yet to come to a decision on whether to more forcefully back a second referendum or not.

John McDonnell said the party had to decide on its Brexit policy “sooner rather than later” because of the possibility that the new prime minister could call a snap election.

The shadow chancellor said he would vote to stay in the EU in another referendum and “would want to campaign for Remain”.

He told Marr that Jeremy Corbyn was consulting trade unions and there would be further shadow cabinet discussions to decide the party’s stance.

Barry Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, told Sky News that Labour “have always been a remain and reform party, okay”.

Which is not what he said in March, when he told the BBC’s Today programme Labour was “not a Remain party now”.

Away from Brexit, Labour is also under pressure again over anti-Semitism and reports of splits at the very top.

McDonnell told Marr that it was a “myth” he had told Jeremy Corbyn to sack his chief of staff Karie Murphy and communications chief Seumas Milne.

Instead he said the story in the Sunday Times had been made up by journalists who had drunk too much of “some of the most nauseating wine ever produced from a grape” at Westminster summer parties.

It came as Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson hit out at a clampdown on former staff blowing the whistle on its handling of anti-Semitism allegations ahead of the BBC Panorama documentary, which is due to be aired on Wednesday.

The Sunday Times says up to half a dozen ex-employees have torn up non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to speak to the programme.

According to the paper, Carter Ruck – acting on behalf of Labour – has written to Sam Matthews, the party’s former head of disputes, warning he could face legal action for breaking his NDA.

Watson tweeted: “Using expensive media lawyers in attempt to silence staff members is as futile as it is stupid. It’s not the Labour way and I deplore it.”

Gardiner defended the party’s use of gagging clauses, insisting they were not being used to cover up wrongdoing.

The shadow international trade secretary said: “We absolutely do not use gagging orders to hide anything that is illegal or improper.

“We use gagging orders only to stop former members of staff from leaking confidential information where we have an obligation to protect individuals and for doing that in a party political or partisan way for political purposes.”

He said he would welcome “any objective, impartial investigation that’s going to help us to get rid of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” but “my understanding of this programme is that has not been balanced and impartial in that way”.

It involved talking to former party staff members who had a “political axe to grind”, he claimed.

Also this morning, Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers Union president (NFU), warned farmers would likely to have to kill some of their sheep in the event of a no-deal exit.


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