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Sat, 11 July 2020

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Nicola Sturgeon suggests she could back plans to install Jeremy Corbyn as caretaker Prime Minister

Nicola Sturgeon suggests she could back plans to install Jeremy Corbyn as caretaker Prime Minister
3 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has suggested she could back a plan to make Jeremy Corbyn caretaker Prime Minister in a bid to block Brexit.

The Scottish First Minister has given her strongest indication yet that SNP MPs could support a Corbyn-led interim government for the "sole purpose" of securing a Brexit extension and then calling a general election.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, despite Parliament passing a law forcing him to seek an extension to the 31 October deadline if he fails to agree a new deal with Brussels.

But responding to a tweet by Observer journalist Sonia Sodha, which suggested the only way to secure an extension to the Article 50 process was to install "Corbyn or someone else" in Downing Street, Ms Sturgeon said: "Agree with this. 

"VONC [Vote of No Confidence], opposition unites around someone for sole purpose of securing an extension, and then immediate General Election," she said. 

"Nothing is risk free but leaving Johnson in post to force through no deal - or even a bad deal - seems like a terrible idea to me."

The comments come after opposition parties met on Thursday to further discuss tactics for blocking no-deal.

Speaking after the meeting, an SNP spokesperson told the Sun: "It is now possible - if the political will is there - that parties could come together to ensure that the letter to secure an extension is not left in the hands of Boris Johnson and his cronies, who are determined to find a way to get around the Benn Act, but is instead sent by a temporary caretaker prime minister, who would be in office only as long as is necessary to send the letter, with an election held immediately afterwards."

They added: "We remain open to all options to achieve the aim of stopping a no deal Brexit and getting rid of Boris Johnson."

Responding to the remarks, a Labour source pointed to previous comments by Mr Corbyn in which he said making him caretaker PM was the "simplest and most democratic way to stop a damaging no deal."

But the move would require support from the Liberal Democrats, who have repeatedly ruled out any plan which saw Mr Corbyn installed in Downing Street.

Earlier this week, deputy Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said it was "very clear" that there was no majority in the Commons for the Labour leader.

He added: "We've heard that from a whole tange of different MPs so the question is how can we solve this chaos as quickly as possible?"

Instead, the party have suggested that party grandees, including Labour's Harriet Harman or Conservative Ken Clarke, would have wider support among MPs.

A Downing Street source said: "We've known for a long time that Jeremy Corbyn is willing to sell the Union down the river in his attempt to get into Downing Street without an election.

"The public don't want to see these backroom deals, they want to see Parliament held to account in an election."

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