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Mon, 13 July 2020

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Opposition parties agree to block Boris Johnson's second bid to force snap election

Opposition parties agree to block Boris Johnson's second bid to force snap election
2 min read

Opposition parties have agreed to block the Prime Minister’s call for a snap general election in his second attempt to get consent from Parliament.


Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP and Plaid Cymru have said they will vote against Boris Johnson’s bid for an October 15 poll following cross-party talks on Friday.

The Prime Minister failed to win the backing of at least two-thirds of MPs to trigger the move in a first vote on Wednesday, instead picking up 298 votes out of the 434 needed.

Mr Johnson wants an election ahead of a crunch EU summit, set to begin on October 17. But the group said they would either vote against the government or abstain when he makes a second attempt on Monday.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts told the BBC a vote for an October election would “play into Boris Johnson’s hands” and allow him to ignore the no-deal bill, which is likely to receive Royal Assent on Monday.

“Our duty therefore as parliamentarians, who are intent first and foremost on stopping no-deal Brexit, is to be here in this place, to hold him to account and to make sure he abides by that law,” she said.

“The PM is on the run, Boris is broken. We have an opportunity to bring down Boris, to break Boris and to bring down Brexit and we must take that.”

 The SNP’s Ian Blackford added: “We have to keep the pressure on Boris Johnson. 

“I'm desperate for an election [but we] need to make sure we don't crash out without a deal."

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry also confirmed on Thursday that her party will vote against any poll while there is still a chance of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on Hallowe'en.

It is not expected for parties to back another election until after 31 October.

But Number 10 has hit back calling the position “unsustainable” and urged MPs to reconsider their position.

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said: "The PM has said that the current position is unsustainable and that MPs should consider over the weekend whether they are prepared to face up to the consequences of their actions this week in passing a bill that wrecks our negotiations and seeks to impose an indefinite delay to Brexit. 

“He’s been very clear that they must face the public in a general election and MPs will have a chance to do that on Monday."

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