Prime minister to push for early election for fourth time
Boris Johnson will call for an early general election for a fourth time following his latest defeat in the House of Commons on Monday evening.
The House supported the government’s motion for an early national poll by 299 votes to 70 on Monday, but it was short of the majority of two-thirds required.
Having labelled Parliament “dysfunctional” following the latest failed bid for an election, Johnson’s next move will be to publish a government bill proposing an election date of December 12.
Johnson added that “one way or another” the impasse in Parliament had to be broken, warning Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that he “can run but can’t hide from the electorate”.
The prime minister will, however, still need to win the support of some opposition MPs for his latest bill to go through, with this most likely to come from the SNP and the Liberal Democrats who have already proposed an alternative election date of December 9.
Johnson has now accepted the EU’s offer of an extension to the Article 50 deadline to January 31 2020.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg assured that the government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill would not be brought back to the Commons prior to an election.
However, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson noted that these reassurances may be enough to win her party’s support for a December 12 election, citing her mistrust of the government.
It has since been pointed out that it is logistically unlikely to pass a December 9 election bill through both the House of Commons and the Lords in time to receive Royal Assent by 00:01 on Friday.
Home Office minister, Brandon Lewis, added that December 12 is “the right date” for a national poll, saying that the government would not have ample time to pass “key pieces of legislation” otherwise.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has since announced his support for a December election.