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Little support for Corbyn’s ‘caretaker PM’ move

By Hugh O’Connell

Sinn Fein has distanced itself from Jeremy Corbyn’s seemingly doomed plan to become Prime Minister.

Mr Corbyn is looking to table a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government and, if successful, wants to be installed as a caretaker PM where he plans to seek a Brexit extension from the EU, call a general election and campaign for a second referendum.

However, the Labour leader’s plan appeared to collapse yesterday after the leader of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said Mr Corbyn would not command sufficient support.

Sky News reported that while a group of senior Tory MPs planned to meet Mr Corbyn about his intentions, they were privately indicating they would not support him forming a government.

Sinn Fein was cool on the proposition of Mr Corbyn entering Downing Street, despite its longstanding admiration for the left-wing MP whose links to the Irish republican cause have been the source of controversy.

Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Fein leader in the Seanad, said: “I don’t think it would be right for us to interfere or comment either way.”

Meanwhile, Belfast-based senator Niall ODonnghaile said: “We won’t be commenting on it as it’s not our place to decide who becomes British Prime Minister, it’s a matter for the British people.”

Irish Labour leader Brendan Howlin backed the plan, however, describing it as “reasonable” and welcoming the positive response of other UK Opposition parties including the Green Party’s single MP and the SNP.

“This is the space we need to be moving into given the constitutional difficulties that face no-deal opponents in the UK,” Mr Howlin said. “It recognises Corbyn’s position as leader of the Opposition who secured 40% of the vote at the last general election. It is already clear that the European Union would facilitate such an extension were there to be a general election.”

However, privately one Irish Labour source acknowledged the plan was doomed. “Pity everyone hates him,” the source said. “Including his own MPs.”

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