Jeremy Corbyn accuses Boris Johnson of using Queen in ‘cynical stunt’ ahead of snap election
Jeremy Corbyn has accused Boris Johnson of a “cynical stunt” by forcing a Queen’s Speech that amounts to a “party political broadcast” ahead of a likely snap election.
The Labour leader said Monday's ceremony – where the monarch will read out the Prime Minister’s policy priorities for the next parliamentary session – will be “a farce” given the Government has “a majority of minus 45”.
Mr Johnson’s attempts to trigger a general election in the last month have been rebuffed by opposition MPs who fear it could allow a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.
The PM's majority plummeted after he expelled 21 MPs from the Tory Party for backing opposition legislation forcing him to ask for a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline.
Mr Corbyn said his party was "champing at the bit" for an election, but "can't trust" that Mr Johnson will not use the period of Parliament's dissolution to rail through the UK's exit from the bloc.
At a speech in Northampton on Thursday, he will say: “On Monday, we will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering.”
“This Government isn’t going to put any legislation before Parliament. It has a majority of minus 45, a 100 per cent record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.
“Holding a Queen’s Speech before an election is a cynical stunt. Johnson is using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party.”
Labour, the SNP and Liberal Democrats have said a fresh poll should only be held once the PM has followed his obligation under the so-called Benn Act of writing to the EU to ask for the extension.
The Labour leader will add: “It wasn’t long ago that Johnson was pretending not to want an election. Now he is pretending that it’s Labour that doesn’t want one.
“So let me address this directly: Prime Minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form.
"We can’t trust you not to use the period of an election campaign to drive our country off a No Deal cliff edge that will crash our economy destroy jobs and industries cause shortages of medicine and food and endanger peace in Northern Ireland.
“So it’s simple: obey the law, take No Deal off the table and then let’s have the election. We’re ready and champing at the bit. There’s only one reason it hasn’t happened yet – we can’t trust you."
Elsewhere in his speech Mr Corbyn will vow to put forward "the most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times", with pledges such as a rise in the minimum wage and a second Brexit referendum.