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Third time unlucky?
Boris Johnson has admitted he will break his “do or die” pledge to take the UK out of the EU by October 31. Earlier this evening, the prime minister said he will ask parliament once again to give him a snap general election on December 12 if they wanted more time to scrutinise his Brexit deal.
There has been a split in cabinet over whether to push for an election or to try again to get Johnson’s Brexit deal through the Commons. Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland secretary, admitted on the way into the 3pm political cabinet meeting, there were ‘differences’.
Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA), Johnson needs two-thirds of MPs to vote with him to trigger an election. But Jeremy Corbyn has not yet said yes. Or no.
Corbyn has previously said he would back an election as soon an extension to Article 50 is granted. EU leaders could announce their decision as early as tomorrow. But this is far from certain.
“Tomorrow the EU will decide whether there’s going to be an extension or not,” Corbyn told broadcasters this evening. “That extension will obviously encompass whether there’s a no-deal or not. Let’s find that out tomorrow.”
Labour MPs have been lining up to reject the PM’s plan. Neil Coyle told HuffPost UK around 140 Labour MPs had been in touch with Corbyn to warn him “not to fall’ for what he said was a trap. “I’m minded not to vote for an early election because it gives Boris Johnson the early Christmas present that he so badly wants,” he said.
But Momentum, the grassroots campaign group that propelled Corbyn to the leadership, was straight out of the blocks to tell Johnson to ”bring it on”. And shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett said the PM “must now face the electorate”.
Karie Murphy, Corbyn’s chief of staff who has been moved over to Labour HQ, joined the Labour leader in giving a motivational speech to party staff this morning. I’m told some were amused when she slipped and accidentally told them: “Labour is divided... I mean determined.”
For their part, the Lib Dems and SNP have also both indicated they will not vote for Johnson’s election.
Quote Of The Day
‘The prime minister always tells the truth.’
– Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking to MPs in the Commons on Thursday morning.
Thursday Cheat Sheet
MPs have approved the government’s legislative programme, just minutes after Boris Johnson announced his fresh push for a general election. The Queen’s Speech was supported by 310 votes to 294, a majority of 16, following six days of debate.
Detectives have been given an extra 24 hours to question the driver of the lorry in which 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in Essex.
The number of stop and searches carried out by police in England and Wales has jumped by almost a third in the past year, new figures have revealed.
Less than a quarter of young people aged 16-24 (23%) tuned into the BBC’s TV news programmes in the past year, Ofcom’s latest report revealed.
Lawyers representing the family of Harry Dunn have said they are taking legal action against the Foreign Office and launched an investigation into police conduct “imminently”.
What I’m Reading
How Much Do Iowa And New Hampshire Really Matter For 2020? | FiveThirtyEight
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