Tony Blair urges Jeremy Corbyn to avoid general election 'elephant trap'

Posted On: 
1st September 2019

Jeremy Corbyn must order his MPs to vote against a general election if Boris Johnson tries to call one, according to Tony Blair.

Tony Blair says Jeremy Corbyn was right to ditch his calls to become caretaker PM.
PA Images

In a major speech on Monday, the former Prime Minister will say a second referendum iss the best way to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

He will warn that a general election would be an "elephant trap" for Labour because the Conservatives are "actively preparing" for one.

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Mr Corbyn has ditched his demand to become caretaker Prime Minister if the Goverment is defeated in a vote of confidence.

Instead, Labour has signed up to a bid by the opposition parties to seize control of the Commons agenda and pass a law blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Backing that strategy, Mr Blair will say: "Should the Government seek an election, it should be refused in favour of a referendum.

"It is counter-intuitive for opposition parties to refuse an election. But in this exceptional case, it is vital they do so as a matter of principle, until Brexit is resolved.

"Brexit is an issue which stands on its own, was originally decided on its own and should be reconsidered on its own.

"But the Brexiteers are laying a trap, to seem as if pushed into an election against their will, when they're actively preparing for it.

"In backing away from the idea of himself as a ‘caretaker Prime Minister’ Jeremy Corbyn has behaved responsibly, and if he continues to put country first, he will benefit the country and himself. He can now play a decisive role in how Brexit develops.

"But he should see an election for the elephant trap it is.  If the Government tries to force an election, Labour should vote against it."