In a sudden reversal, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed an early general election in December. He said the Labour party will launch the “most ambitious and radical” election campaign.
The UK was poised to trigger a snap election after opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday told his top team of policy advisers that he will back a December general election. Corbyn said the reversal comes now that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit with the European Union has been taken off the table.
“I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a no deal Brexit being off the table,” he told his so-called shadow cabinet, according to his office.
“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to 31st January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met. We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen,” Corbyn said.
“We’re going out there to win,” he stressed.
The opposition leader’s remarks were made hours before Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to once again ask British lawmakers to approve an early election.
The government wants an election on December 12.
Fourth time’s a charm?
Johnson’s previous three motions for a snap election had earlier failed in the Parliament’s lower chamber, the House of Commons. On Monday, the 299-70 vote fell short of the two-thirds majorityJohnson needed for the motion to pass after Labour abstained.
After Monday’s setback, Johnson declared that he would do yet another bid for an early election on Tuesday.
The British leader has repeatedly demanded an election to end what he casts as a nightmare parliamentary paralysis that is sapping public trust by preventing any Brexit outcome at all.
In an effort to blunt opposition to an early vote, the government said on Monday it would delay consideration of the EU withdrawal deal until after the election.
The EU on Monday agreed to extend the Brext deadline for a third time, this time until January 31.
Johnson, who said just weeks ago that he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than postpone the UK’s departure date past October 31, was forced to seek the extension on Parliament’s orders to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
sri/stb (Reuters, AP, dpa)