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Boris Johnson expected to address MPs amid election speculation

The European Union is thought to be preparing to grant a fresh Brexit delay to the end of January.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to address MPs

By Gavin Cordon and Harriet Line, PA Political Staff

Boris Johnson is expected to address MPs amid growing speculation he could press for a snap general election.

The Prime Minister is thought to be preparing to make a Commons intervention following the Queen’s Speech vote on Thursday.

It comes amid signs the EU is set to grant a fresh Brexit delay until the end of January after Mr Johnson was forced – under the terms of the so-called Benn Act – to request a further extension.

He has said that if that happened he would abandon his attempts to get his Brexit deal through Parliament and go for an election instead.

However, under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA)  he needs a two-thirds “super majority” of MPs to be able to go the country.

His two previous attempt to do so have been blocked because Labour has refused to support him.

Earlier, shadow chancellor John McDonnell refused to be drawn on what they would do if he made a third attempt.

“We will see what happens. We are trying to take this in stages. We will confront that hurdle when we see it,” he told reporters at Westminster.

With the EU expected to formally announce its decision on an extension of Friday, the Cabinet has met in political session to discuss its next move.

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Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said there are ‘differences of view’ within Labour on an election (David Mirzoeff/PA)

It could see ministers table a motion under the FTPA on Monday which could pave the way – if it is passed – for the first December election since 1923.

Earlier, Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly accused Labour of “running scared” of voters amid continuing “confusion” over its position on Brexit.

“We’ve been calling for a general election, me personally, the Prime Minister, my friends and colleagues all around the country, for months now,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“The Labour Party are running scared and I can completely understand why, their Brexit message is confused at best.”

His attack came amid reports of widespread opposition to an early election among Labour MPs, with the party trailing in the polls.

Mr McDonnell acknowledged there was “a difference of views” within the party but added: “Once an election is in the offing people usually rally together.”

PA

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