Corbyn biding his time
Labour will put ‘no confidence’ motion only when it can win
Jeremy Corbyn: waiting for his moment
Labour said it will put down a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government only when it knows it can win the full backing of the Commons.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a number of calls to take such action during yesterday’s heated debate on the delayed Brexit vote.
Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, wer among those who said they would support Mr Corbyn if he put a no confidence vote forward.
However, in a statement issued later it was clear that Mr Corbyn does not think enough rebels on the Tory benches would enable him to succeed.
“We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful,” said the statement.
“It is clear to us that Theresa May will not renegotiate the deal when she goes to Brussels, and will only be asking for reassurances from EU leaders.
“When she brings the same deal back to the House of Commons without significant changes, others across the House will be faced with that reality.
“At that point, she will have decisively and unquestionably lost the confidence of Parliament on the most important issue facing the country, and Parliament will be more likely to bring about the general election our country needs to end this damaging deadlock.”
Five opposition party leaders have written to the Prime Minister of showing contempt for parliament and demanded Parliament is given a say.
In the letter, Ian Blackford, Jeremy Corbyn (Lab), Sir Vince Cable (LibDem), Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru) and Caroline Lucas (Green) call on the Prime Minister to confirm:
• If she will put to the House the proposal to defer the debate on her deal and the meaningful vote?
• That the deal before the House of Commons is dead and that the revised proposal will be substantially different from today?
• That the House will be given the opportunity to debate the Government’s negotiating objectives?
• The length of time parliament will have to scrutinise any revised deal and the planned schedule in parliament including the date for any meaningful vote?
Mr Blackford MP said: “The Prime Minister’s decision to shelve the so-called meaningful vote on her Brexit deal was an act of cowardice and completely in the interests of her own party rather than the country. Her actions show contempt for Parliament.
“It can’t be right that the UK Government can unilaterally alter the arrangements once the House of Commons has agreed on a timetable, without the House being given the opportunity to express its will.
“The meaningful vote must now be rescheduled as soon as possible. As the SNP has made clear, Brexit cannot and must not be a choice between a bad deal and no-deal.
“We believe it is time for the Prime Minister to go and for others to work together to put the decision to the people. We must stop the Prime Minister riding roughshod over Parliament in an attempt to preserve her position.”