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Opposition leaders 'will not back' Johnson's snap election call

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (House of Commons/PA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (House of Commons/PA)

Opposition leaders have agreed to vote against or abstain from a call for a general election on Monday, it has emerged.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn hosted a positive conference call with other opposition party leaders this morning.

"They discussed advancing efforts to prevent a damaging no-deal Brexit and hold a general election once that is secured."

A Lib Dem spokeswoman described the conference call between leader Jo Swinson, Jeremy Corbyn and others as "constructive".

"We were all clear we are not going to let Boris Johnson cut and run," she said.

"The Liberal Democrat position for a while now is that we won't vote for a general election until we have an extension agreed with the EU. I think the others are coming round to that.

"As a group we will all vote against or abstain on Monday."

Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts told the BBC: "We were in unity in our opinion, our priority is of course to stop a no-deal Brexit...

"In the short time we need to make sure that we get past the 31st October and an extension to Article 50.

"Now in that respect we were in agreement that the Prime Minister is on the run. Boris is broken.

"We have an opportunity to bring down Boris, to break Boris and to bring down Brexit, and we must take that."

Ms Saville Roberts said a vote for a general election next week would "play into Boris Johnson's hands".

"It would allow him to ignore the legislation that is presently going through the House of Lords, likely to have Royal Assent today. It would allow him to ignore that, it would give him the opportunity to ignore the law.

"Our duty therefore as parliamentarians who are intent first and foremost on stopping a no-deal Brexit is to be here in this place, to hold him to account and to make sure that he abides by that law."

On Wednesday, the PM attempted to call an early election, but the move failed to get the backing of the two-thirds of MPs required to go ahead.

Labour refused to back a snap poll until a no-deal exit was firmly taken off the table.

Boris Johnson has mooted October 15 as a potential date for an election.

MPs are set to vote again on a snap poll on Monday.

Meanwhile, the PM said he would try to find a way to "build bridges" with the 21 senior Conservatives who were booted out of the party earlier this week.

He told reporters on his visit to Scotland on Friday: "We were being very clear about the risks we are running now in snarling up the process of leaving the EU in Parliament.

"And yes of course I'm going to reach out to those colleagues and have been reaching out to them to try and find ways of building bridges but I've got to be clear we must get Brexit done and that's my message to my colleagues."

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