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SNP urges Opposition parties to work together to get a general election

Ian Blackford said the party will ‘not be bullied’ into backing an election on Boris Johnson’s terms.

Ian Blackford said the SNP are ready for a general election (Jane Barlow/PA)
Ian Blackford said the SNP are ready for a general election (Jane Barlow/PA)

By George Ryan, PA Political Reporter

Opposition parties must work together to bring forward an early general election, the SNP’s Westminister leader has said.

Ian Blackford said the SNP will block attempts by the Government to seek an election under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act for a December 12 poll, which requires a two-thirds majority of MPs to pass.

The party is working with the Liberal Democrats to bring forward a one-line bill which would circumvent the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act and set the date on an early election to December 9.

The plan was branded a “gimmick” by Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly and a “stunt” by both Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan and shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth.

The SNP is prepared to back a bill that seeks to bring forward an early general election on Monday, December 9 once an extension to the Brexit deadline to January 31, 2020 has been secured Ian Blackford, SNP

Mr Blackford said the SNP will “not be bullied” into backing an election on the Prime Minister’s terms and urged Labour to back the plan for a December 9 vote.

He added: “SNP MPs will reject Boris Johnson’s election motion on Monday which seeks to first allow him to force through his devastating Brexit deal and take the UK out of the EU. We will not be bullied by this Prime Minister and we will not play his games.

“The SNP is prepared to back a bill that seeks to bring forward an early general election on Monday, December 9 once an extension to the Brexit deadline to January 31, 2020 has been secured.

“The SNP are ready for an election but it must be on Parliament’s terms – not Boris Johnson’s.”

He added: “This Bill is one way to get an election but if this bill does not pass we in the SNP are clear that all options must be on the table – including a vote of no confidence.

“Opposition parties must work together to remove this dangerous Tory government from office.

“With time fast running out, it is vital that we now secure a meaningful extension and bring forward an early general election.”

He also 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.

PA

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