Jeremy Corbyn: Labour is 'very, very ready' for a snap general election
Labour is prepared to fight a snap general election if one is called in the aftermath of the EU referendum, Jeremy Corbyn declared today.
The Labour leader said the party was "very, very ready" amid mounting speculation that the Conservatives will try to go to the polls before the current parliament is due to end in 2020.
David Cameron has insisted he will not stand for Prime Minister again and many inside his own party believe he will have to quit if the UK votes for Brexit on Thursday.
It has been suggested that his successor as Tory leader could then seek his or her own mandate by going to the country.
Although the Fixed Terms Parliament Act says that there must usually be five years between elections, that can be over-ruled if two-thirds of MPs back a motion calling an early poll.
At a pro-EU Labour rally in Manchester today, Mr Corbyn was asked if Labour was ready to fight a snap election if it happens.
He said: "It's not up to me to intrude into private grief in the Tory party. We will have to see what happens on Friday.
"All we know is the position we're going to be putting is one of improving living standards and challenging the austerity budget.
"If the Government can't continue forever and it ends up deciding it needs to somehow or other navigate around the Fixed Terms Parliament Act in order to have a general election a little sooner, all I can say is we're very, very ready for that."
PoliticsHome revealed last month that the Conservatives have raised around £9 million more than Labour in donations over the past 12 months.
A Labour source said: "The Tories raised 50% more in the first three months of 2016 than in the first three months of 2011. It makes you wonder whether they are gearing up for a snap election."