Boris Johnson launches bid to hold general election on 12 December

Posted On: 
24th October 2019

Boris Johnson has launched a dramatic bid to hold a general election on 12 December.

Boris Johnson has called on MPs to back his call for an election.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister said that in return for MPs' support, he would give Parliament more time to scrutinise his Brexit deal.

A motion calling for an election will be tabled by the Government on Thursday night, with the Commons voting on it on Monday.

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Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, it will need the support of two-thirds of MPs - 434 in total - in order to pass.

That means he will need the support of the Labour party, and he called on Jeremy Corbyn to display "moral courage" by ordering his MPs to back it.

Mr Johnson's move comes after he was forced to "pause" the Withdrawal Agreement Bill after MPs voted down his plan to pass it by Thursday night.

In a letter to Mr Corbyn, the PM said he would "make available all possible time" until 6 November - the date when he wants to dissolve Parliament - for the Commons to debate his Brexit plans, but only if Labour agrees to back an election.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Johnson said: "The way to get his done is I think is to be reasonable with Parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal they can have it, but they have to agree to a eneral election on 12 December."

Jeremy Corbyn has twice ordered Labour MPs to vote against a general election in recent weeks, arguing that he would only do so once it became clear that the UK could not leave the EU without a deal on 31 October.

The PM added: "It is time, frankly, the opposition summoned up the nerve to face our collective boss, which is the UK

On MPs' call for more time to scrutinise the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, he said: "We’re going to give them all the time they want and between now and the dissolution of Parliament, and that’s much more than some of them have been asking for

"So what we’re saying is more time now for all MPs to come together and look at it, starting from tonight if necessary, all the way up until Parliament rises on 6 November."

Mr Johnson announced his decision following a meeting of his Cabinet in 10 Downing Street.

It is known that some ministers believe now is not the right time for an election - a view shared by dozens of Tory and Labour MPs.