Yorkshire MPs Mary Creagh and Richard Burgon highlight Labour splits over snap General Election offer

Labour's splits over the prospect of a snap General Election offered by Boris Johnson have been laid pair by the contrasting views of two of its Yorkshire MPs.

By Rob Parsons
Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 12:55 pm
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh

Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday that Labour will "take the fight to the Tories" in a General Election, insisting the party is ready after the Government said it will push for a snap election if MPs try to block a no-deal Brexit.

The Government later revealed that the Prime Minister would request a general election on October 14 if MPs back a cross-party move to seize control of Commons business today.

A motion for the early election will be tabled by the Government which would require the support of two-thirds of MPs under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA).

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But it later emerged that the opposition was split over whether to support the call for an election, with a senior frontbencher, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd, saying the party would not support it.

Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight, Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said: "We are ready for a General Election, we are ready to see the back of the Conservatives and their austerity agenda. As Tony (Lloyd) rightly says, we aren’t going to agree to one when there is a threat of a no-deal Brexit hanging over the country."

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh

Asked what Mr Lloyd's comments meant, she said: "What I interpret it to mean, and what the conversations I have had in Parliament today means, is that we would not support the two-thirds majority that Boris Johnson needs, the 434 he needs to vote for a General Election to dissolve Parliament under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, he will not that get that majority.

"That is the understanding from conversations I've had with senior members of the Labour Party.

"We have watched this Prime Minister over the summer do nothing with France, do nothing with Germany, do nothing with Brussels, we have watched him run down the clock. We have watched him and his revolutionary advisors basically planning their shock and awe election campaign.

"We have watched them suspending Parliament in breach of all conventions for five weeks, gagging the people's representatives, in order to try and bounce this country into their extreme, dangerous and reckless no deal. So the idea that we are just going to nod along in Parliament and let him have it.

Leeds MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon

"He has said today October 14, we have been briefed October 17 and November 1, if he moves that date to November 1 we will not be complicit in crashing our country out without a deal."

In a speech in Salford, Mr Corbyn told supporters: "I'm ready for it, you're ready for it, we're ready for it, we'll take the message out there and above all we will win for the people of this country."

And the contrasting views within the party were underlined when Leeds MP Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary, tweeted: "Well done to all those protesting outside No 10 as Boris Johnson gave his statement. Johnson looked rattled. So he should. He has no mandate for No Deal. General Election Now!"