- Jeremy Corbyn calls on opponents to make him caretaker Prime Minster for a “time-limited” period in order to stop Brexit.
- The Labour leader promises to remain in power only so long as to delay Brexit and call a general election.
- The SNP and Green Party agree to discuss the proposal, but it is rejected outright by the Liberal Democrats.
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Jeremy Corbyn has called on rebel Conservative MPs and opposition parties to agree to temporarily install him as prime minister in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
The Labour party leader wrote to the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and SNP on Wednesday, urging them to back the formation of a “strictly time-limited temporary government,” with him as leader, in order to delay Brexit and block Boris Johnson from forcing Britain out of the EU without a deal.
“This government has no mandate for No Deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for No Deal. I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success,” Corbyn wrote.
“Following a successful vote of no confidence in the government, I would then, as Leader of the Opposition, seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.”
Corbyn insisted that Labour would go into any general election, committed to holding a second referendum on Brexit.
“In that general election, Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the European Union, including an option to Remain,” he wrote.
The Scottish National Party and Greens both agreed to discuss the proposal, while insisting that any referendum must come before a general election.
However, the offer was rejected outright by new Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, who insisted that it was a “nonsense” to suggest that Corbyn could lead any attempt to stop a hard exit from the EU.
“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 – I would expect there are people in his own party and indeed the necessary Conservative backbenchers who would be unwilling to support him. It is a nonsense,” she said.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Swinson said stood “ready to work with anyone to stop Boris Johnson and his Brexit hardline government” but insisted Corbyn would not be able to command a majority in the Commons.
She instead proposed a unity government led by Tory MP Ken Clarke or Labour MP Harriet Harman, the longest-serving male and female parliamentarians respectively, who she said were “respected on both sides of the House.”
Speaking after the speech, Swinson said: “People are fed up of seeing politicians arguing for things that put their party’s interest above the country.”