Jeremy Corbyn urges anti-no-deal MPs to back him as caretaker PM 'before it’s too late'

Posted On: 
18th August 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has urged MPs opposed to no-deal to back his plan to lead a caretaker Government and “seize the opportunity before it’s too late”.

Jeremy Corbyn has urged rebel Tory MPs to back him as caretaker PM
Credit: 
PA Images

And the Labour leader accused the Tories who will not back him as a temporary Prime Minister of flirting with disaster.

The comments came as more Conservatives confirmed they would not be in favour of removing Boris Johnson in a vote of no-confidence to then install Mr Corbyn in Number 10 to call for an extension to Article 50.

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Former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, who has been a key figure in the Parliamentary efforts to block no-deal, said he would not back a Corbyn-led emergency administration.

Conservative rebels insist it must be led by a neutral figure, with Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, also opposed to the Labour leader being put in charge, suggesting veteran MPs Ken Clarke and Harriet Harman.

Mr Clarke has indicated he would be willing to head up a government of national unity if it was the "only way" to prevent Britain exiting the EU with no agreement in place.

But Mr Corbyn hit back, telling the Observer: “My message to MPs across parliament is simple and urgent: only by working together can we stop no-deal.

“Three years after the EU referendum, the country stands at a precipice. Boris Johnson has become prime minister without any popular mandate. He has no right to drive our country off a cliff and into the arms of Donald Trump with his no-deal fixation.

“The plan I set out last week is the simplest and most democratic way to stop no-deal. We have to seize the opportunity before it’s too late, so the people, rather than an unelected prime minister, can decide our country’s future.”

But senior Tory figures, who Mr Corbyn would need to vote with the opposition in a confidence motion, are said to be focusing their efforts on passing a law forcing Mr Johnson to extend Article 50.

The Sunday Times is reporting that John Bercow held secret talks with MPs plotting to stop a no-deal Brexit, as they prepare for a battle in Parliament when it returns from recess next month.

A former cabinet minister claims the House of Commons Speaker has been “working very closely” with a cross-party group as they consider ways to seize control of business and pass their own legislation.

They said: “He’s very much part of the discussion.

“He has been pretty clear with us that he believes that a decision as momentous as this can only be made with the consent of parliament and that to try to suspend parliament or avoid bringing legislation to parliament in order to take something through against the consent of parliament would be unconstitutional.”