Labour 'in talks' with Tory rebels over timing of no confidence vote in the Government

Posted On: 
7th July 2019

Labour is in talks with Tory rebels about the best time to call a vote of no confidence in the Government, according to a shadow cabinet member.

Barry Gardiner said Labour were discussing with Tory MPs when to call a vote of no confidence in the Government
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Barry Gardiner said “of course” his party are talking to Conservative MPs who have said they are prepared to bring down their own Prime Minister to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he was asked about when the opposition was planning on laying down a motion to try and force a General Election.

The Shadow International Trade Secretary said: “We will call a no confidence vote when we believe that those Conservative members of Parliament who have said that they would support a no confidence motion in the government in order to stop a no-deal are likely to support it.”

Asked if that meant Labour was currently having conversations with those MPs, Mr Gardiner replied: “Of course”.

Pressed on whether the vote would take place before the House of Commons breaks up for summer or when they come back in the autumn, he said: "I don't know because I can't read the minds of those Conservative MPs who have said they are prepared to do this.”

Speaking to the same programme, the former Tory leadership contender Sam Gyimah said more than 30 of the party's own MPs could vote against a no-deal Brexit.

The former education minister said there are a "significant number” of his colleagues looking at various mechanisms to block whoever wins the race to replace Theresa May from bypassing Parliament and exiting the EU on October 31 with no agreement in place.

He said they are looking to stop either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt from suspending Parliament, known as proroguing, in order to do so, but Mr Gymiah ruled out voting against the Government in a confidence motion.

He said: "I have been very explicit about that. That is not something I intend to do.

"I think it is the nuclear option. I don't want to go there. I know there are some who are considering it.”

But former Attorney General Dominic Grieve said that he would be willing to bring down his own party from Government to block no deal.

He told BBC Radio 5Live’s Pienaar’s Politics he does not “wish to do so unless I completely have to”.

However he said colleagues were looking at other methods to prevent such a scenario, with a bill due in the Commons this week seen as a potential opportunity to do so.

Mr Grieve initially said he was “not going to comment further” on what mechanisms he could try and use, but then confirmed a clause could be attached to legislation on Northern Ireland to stop a no deal.