Claims Boris Johnson will change election date to force no-deal Brexit dismissed as 'tin-foil hat stuff'

Posted On: 
3rd September 2019

Claims that Boris Johnson will delay a snap election until after 31 October to force through a no-deal Brexit have been dismissed as “tin-foil hat stuff”.

Boris Johnson said he would call a snap election if MPs vote to block no-deal
PA Images

A senior Government source said suggestions by anti-no deal MPs that the Prime Minister would push polling day beyond the planned date of 14 October are “just nonsense”.

The Prime Minister will bring forward a motion for a snap election if the Government is defeated in a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday night.

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Opposition parties suspect Number 10 could use it as a “trap” to force a no-deal Brexit.

But the government source said: “They’re pushing a different agenda, which is not wanting to have an election because they’re worried about the consequences.”

He added: "It's tin-foil hat stuff."

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd said Labour would not fall for “Boris Johnson’s trick” by voting for an election before a the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October is removed.

And Lib Dem Layla Moran told the BBC: “This is so obviously a trap – the thing is if we call an election now there isn’t a way that Parliament can guarantee that it would be on 14 October.

“And anything that comes out of Boris Johnson’s mouth I just assume the opposite is going to happen.”

But Number 10 were quick to deny this, saying the PM has “no discretion to change the date of polling day once Parliament has dissolved”.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said Parliament must be dissolved for exactly 25 working days before an election, adding: “So in short, the idea that poling day could be moved after the event and Parliament has been dissolved is simply wrong, it’s not possible.”

And he repeated the PM’s commitment if an election does happen it would be concluded before the European Council on October 17, and not pushed back until after the Hallowe’en deadline for Article 50.