Published: Sat, August 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Jeremy Corbyn's caretaker government bid exposes Tory divisions

Jeremy Corbyn's caretaker government bid exposes Tory divisions

"Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task", Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson said in an emailed statement.

"I could not support a Corbyn government, end of", she told the Birmingham Mail.

To avoid a disorderly exit from the EU, Corbyn wants anti-Brexit lawmakers to seize control of parliament via a no-confidence vote and the creation of a caretaker government with him at the helm as an interim prime minister.

If Johnson did lose a confidence vote, a 14-day period would follow in which someone else could try to form a government, or he could try to win a new confidence vote.

Corbyn appeared to have convinced some of his opponents within his party on the basis of blocking no-deal.

He writes: "While it is likely that the issue will be contested in the courts, our priority should be to work together in Parliament to prevent a deeply damaging no-deal being imposed on the country, denying voters the final say".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey have both said Labour will not work in any pact with other parties.

Mr Corbyn's letter sought support for the no confidence vote, which he plans to table at the "earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success".

When asked if she had spoken to Mr Clarke or Ms Harman about her suggestion to lead the government, Ms Swinson said she was confident that they would be happy to take on the role.

Corbyn announced the plan in a letter on Wednesday to opposition leaders and Conservative MPs Dominic Grieve, Sir Oliver Letwin and Dame Caroline.

In one of the first responses to Corbyn's proposal from a Conservative politician, Alistair Burt, a former foreign office minister who is opposed to a no-deal Brexit, said he could not support the Labour leader.

Speaking during a Facebook event hosted at Downing Street, Johnson spoke of "a awful kind of collaboration" between "people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends". "But if Jeremy Corbyn truly wants that to succeed, surely even he can see that he cannot lead it".

Mr Clarke continued: "A government of national unity is just one of the things that might be called for - it's not inconceivable - I mean we're in a similar situation to 1931 and rather wildly to the two world wars when the same thing happened". This would need the support of the majority of MPs. If this doesn't happen, then a general election is triggered, but Johnson might be able to force the United Kingdom out of the European Union before it took place, should he be the caretaker PM.

Parliamentary votes have shown there is a small majority against a no-deal Brexit and Corbyn, a low-key Remain campaigner during the 2016 referendum, has come under pressure from his own side to step up efforts to prevent it from happening.

The EU has said it will only agree to delay Brexit again if there is a strong reason, such as a British election or a new Brexit referendum.

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