SEETHING Boris Johnson last night branded Jeremy Corbyn a “chicken” after the Labour leader blocked a snap General Election.
The PM’s bid to trigger a national poll got 298 votes, well short of the 434 he needed, after Mr Corbyn told his MPs to abstain.
Fifty-six MPs voted against. Boris accused Mr Corbyn of political cowardice saying he was “the first leader of the opposition in the democratic history of our country to refuse the invitation of an election”.
He added: “I can only speculate as to the reason behind his hesitation. The obvious conclusion is he does not think he can win.
“It’s the first time in history that the opposition has voted to show confidence in Her Majesty’s government.”
SCARED OF THE ELECTORATE
Tory ministers also mocked Mr Corbyn, who has been repeatedly calling for an election for months, for “the mother of all U-turns”.
Mr Johnson earlier described Mr Corbyn as someone who was running scared of the electorate.
He told the Commons: “There’s only one chlorinated chicken that I can see . . . and he’s on that bench.”
Sources last night said the PM will try again to force an election on Monday.
His second effort will come once a rebel bill to delay Brexit and outlaw any chance of No Deal on October 31 has been passed by Parliament.
Mr Johnson yesterday described it as “a bill designed to overturn the biggest democratic vote in our history, the 2016 referendum.”
He said it undermined his ongoing talks with Brussels, adding: “It is a bill without precedent in the history of this House, seeking as it does to force the Prime Minister with a pre-drafted letter to surrender in international negotiations.”
Last night’s election vote came after:
- Labour plunged into open disarray over when an election should be called;
- Jeremy Corbyn publicly clashed with senior shadow cabinet ministers over whether to agree to the poll next week, or after a crunch EU summit at the end of next month;
- The bill to delay Brexit was passed in the Commons in a record four hours with rebel Tories’ help, by a majority of 28;
- Senior Cabinet ministers yesterday confronted the PM to call on him to overturn his expulsion of 21 rebel Conservative MPs.
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Labour’s mass abstention last night came despite Mr Corbyn and other senior figures in his party having called for a general election as soon as possible more than 15 times so far — in this year alone.
Mr Johnson said this is ‘the first time in history that the Opposition has voted to show confidence in Her Majesty’s government’[/caption]
The PM also put the Labour leader’s political cowardice down to fact that ‘he does not think he can win’[/caption]
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