Lib Dem and SNP plot to offer Boris Johnson an EARLY election on December 9 is branded a ‘stunt’

A Remainer plot to entice Boris Johnson into a pre-Christmas election on their terms was blasted as a ‘stunt’ by a Cabinet minister today.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan hit out at the scheme hatched by the SNP and the Lib Dems, as signs they are growing tired of Labour prevarication grew. 

But she refused to confirm that the Government would vote against it, saying it would have to wait and see what is in the paperwork. 

The parties’ MPs have drawn up a bill that would allow Mr Johnson to secure a December election with a simple majority of MPs, by-passing the need for two-thirds support under the Fixed Term parliament Act (FTPA)

The draft law would grant an election on December 9 – three days before the PM’s proposed date and, crucially, when more students are still at university to cast their votes in Remain-supporting target swing seats. 

Mrs Morgan told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘What is different about the offer, or stunt I might say, by the SNP and Lib Dems is they have obviously made it clear that they have no intention of wanting Brexit to be done, no intention of wanting the Withdrawal Bill.  

Mrs Morgan told Sky's Ridge on Sunday: 'What is different about the offer, or stunt I might say, by the SNP and Lib Dems is they have obviously made it clear that they have no intention of wanting Brexit to be done, no intention of wanting the Withdrawal Bill'

Mrs Morgan told Sky's Ridge on Sunday: 'What is different about the offer, or stunt I might say, by the SNP and Lib Dems is they have obviously made it clear that they have no intention of wanting Brexit to be done, no intention of wanting the Withdrawal Bill'

Mrs Morgan told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘What is different about the offer, or stunt I might say, by the SNP and Lib Dems is they have obviously made it clear that they have no intention of wanting Brexit to be done, no intention of wanting the Withdrawal Bill’

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson appeared to try to assuage Tory fears that the rebel bill could be amended to introduce things like votes at 16 when she appeared on the BBC

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson appeared to try to assuage Tory fears that the rebel bill could be amended to introduce things like votes at 16 when she appeared on the BBC

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson appeared to try to assuage Tory fears that the rebel bill could be amended to introduce things like votes at 16 when she appeared on the BBC

Diane Abbott told the BBC a short time later that Labour would be prepared to 'discuss' the bill with the Lib Dems

Diane Abbott told the BBC a short time later that Labour would be prepared to 'discuss' the bill with the Lib Dems

Diane Abbott told the BBC a short time later that Labour would be prepared to ‘discuss’ the bill with the Lib Dems

‘They are saying, ”Go for an election”. It may well be that an election is going to happen.

‘If the SNP and Lib Dems want an election then they have a chance to vote for one as quickly as tomorrow when the Government’s motion is voted on.

‘We will see if they are in our lobby or not.’

Party chairman James Cleverly later appeared to more firmly slap down the bill, telling the BBC: ‘It’s clearly a gimmick. I moves the election date by three days and takes the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (Wab) completely off the table. 

‘If they really want to vote for an election they can vote for the bill we put forward.’ 

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson appeared to try to assuage Tory fears that the rebel bill could be amended to introduce things like votes at 16 when she appeared on the BBC.

‘I recognise the time pressure that we are under right now doesn’t give us that luxury – January 31 isn’t that far away,’ said the East Dunbartonshire MP.

‘I think we have to pass this as it is drafted. We cannot assume we will keep getting an extension to Article 50. We do need to resolve this issue.’

The Prime Minister used an article in the Sunday papers to accuse MPs of holding the country ‘hostage’ by refusing a general election.

He is looking to pile pressure on parliamentarians to give him the two-thirds backing he needs on Monday to secure a trip to the polls.

MP Chuka Umunna said the Lib Dems had offered a general election because it looks 'highly unlikely' that a second referendum can be secured under the current numbers

MP Chuka Umunna said the Lib Dems had offered a general election because it looks 'highly unlikely' that a second referendum can be secured under the current numbers

MP Chuka Umunna said the Lib Dems had offered a general election because it looks ‘highly unlikely’ that a second referendum can be secured under the current numbers

But the Lib Dems and SNP, in a move that circumvents Labour’s indecision, are to reportedly set to offer the Conservative Party leader an even easier route to an election, requiring just a simple majority in the Commons. 

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today) has yet to confirm if Labour will back an early general election

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today) has yet to confirm if Labour will back an early general election

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today) has yet to confirm if Labour will back an early general election

MP Chuka Umunna said the Lib Dems had offered a general election because it looks ‘highly unlikely’ that a second referendum can be secured under the current numbers.

The time frame involved for a December 9 election would not allow Mr Johnson to ‘ram’ through his Withdrawal Agreement Bill before polling day, he said.

He also looked to allay Tory fears and said adding new elements such as votes for 16-year-olds would be ‘outside the scope of the Bill’.

However, Labour indicated it would vote against the bill, with shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth telling Ridge it was an ‘opportunistic stunt’.

He added: ‘I mean it’s entirely ridiculous. It would need cross-party support to get through the House of Commons procedures and then it would be subject to all kinds of amendments, particularly when it gets into the House of Lords. 

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, confirmed he had co-signed a letter with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to European Council president Donald Tusk asking for a Brexit delay until January

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, confirmed he had co-signed a letter with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to European Council president Donald Tusk asking for a Brexit delay until January

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, confirmed he had co-signed a letter with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to European Council president Donald Tusk asking for a Brexit delay until January

‘It’s just a stunt so the Lib Dems can get on the telly today.’

But his frontbench colleague Diane Abbott told the BBC a short time later that Labour would be prepared to ‘discuss’ the bill with the Lib Dems.

However she said that the idea of telling the EU how long a Brextension the UK wanted could be ‘problematic’. 

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, confirmed he had co-signed a letter with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to European Council president Donald Tusk in which they sought an extension until January 31 at the earliest so that the ‘risk of a devastating no-deal Brexit’ could be removed.

He added: ‘If that meaningful extension is secured we will then work together to bring forward an election this year – but on Parliament’s terms, not on the Prime Minister’s.’  

Link hienalouca.com

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