MPs defy Boris Johnson to reject his bid to call a snap general election

Posted On: 
4th September 2019

MPs have overwhelmingly rejected Boris Johnson's attempts to hold a general election on 15 October.

Boris Johnson wants an election on 15 October.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Commons voted 298 to 56 in favour of going to the country next month - but that was well short of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass.

Mr Johnson had insisted that an election was needed to voters could decide whether he or Jeremy Corbyn should lead the UK's negotiating team at a crunch EU summit on 17 October.

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He spoke out just moments after MPs had backed a rebel bill which would force the Prime Minister to go to Brussels and seek an extension to the 31 October Brexit deadline if he was unable to get a deal.

"I refuse to do this and it is clear there is only one way forward for the country," said Mr Johnson.

"In my view, and in the view of this government, there must now be an election on Tuesday 15 October."

But Labour leader Mr Corbyn said that while his party wanted an election, they could not support it until the Brexit extension bill receives Royal Assent.

He said: "We want an election. We look forward to turfing this government out. But the offer an election today is like the offer of an apple to Snow White from the wicked Queen.

"Because what he is offering is not an apple, or even an election, but the poison of no deal.

"I repeat what I said last night: Let this Bill pass, and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out with a no deal exit from the European Union."

But Mr Corbyn's comments appeared to once again put him at odds with Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer.

Sir Keir has told Labour MPs, and the Commons, that an election should not take place until after the rebel bill is implemented after 19 October. That would completely rule out the possibility of an election until after 31 October.