BORIS Johnson accused “dithering “ Jeremy Corbyn of “running scared” last night after the Labour leader yet again refused to trigger an election to break the Brexit deadlock.
A defiant Prime Minister accused the opposition’s “zombie” party of keeping the UK captive in the EU following the Supreme Court’s ruling that the parliament shut down was “unlawful.”
In an explosive showdown the Prime Minister offered a vote of no confidence to all party leaders who “fancy a go” at getting rid of him in a bid to dramatically trigger a general election.
He blasted Remainer MPs who “thumb their noses” at voters – as he again threw down the gauntlet for an election to face their “day of reckoning”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Johnson refused to rule out suspending parliament AGAIN in a bombshell interview with ITV’s Robert Peston.
He said his government were trying to “absorb the full implications” of the court’s decision, when asked if he would prorogue for a second time.
And in one of the most contentious exchanges in the Commons yesterday, the PM said the best way to honour the memory of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox was “to get Brexit done.”
He was responding to remarks by Labour’s Tracy Brabin who spoke of mum-of-two Jo, killed by a far-right extremist in 2017, while urging Mr Johnson to “moderate his language”.
Jo’s widower Brendan Cox said “he felt a bit sick” hearing his wife’s name used by the embattled UK leader.
He tweeted: “Feel a bit sick at Jo’s name being used in this way.
“The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in, passionately and with determination.
“But never to demonise the other side and always hold onto what we have in common.’
In a bold rallying cry in the chamber, Mr Johnson blasted Corbyn for avoiding the people – and insisted Parliament would continue to try and block Brexit for as long as they could.
The public don’t want another referendum and just want Britain to get on with leaving, he raged, shouting over braying MPs screaming at him to resign.
“We will not betray the people who sent us here,” he stormed.
“We will continue to challenge the opposition parties to uphold democracy.
“This parliament will keep delaying, will keep sabotaging negotiations because they don’t want a deal.”
“The electorate are being held captive by this zombie parliament and this zombie opposition,” he added.
“And he wants the entire country to be held captive in the EU after October 31 at a cost of more than £1billion a month.
“We say no, I say no. Let’s get Brexit done and let’s take this country forward.”
As tensions ran high in Westminster on another dramatic day:
- MPs called for Boris to quit as he flew in from New York and dashed back to No10
- Remainers went back to the Commons Wednesday morning and immediately vowed to begin trying to wreck Brexit once again.
- Gloating Speaker Bercow was cheered and Lib Dems whooped with joy as Parliament re-opened
- Boris will face the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs tomorrow
Boris went on to break with tradition by calling on smaller parties to call a vote of no confidence in him – which could spark the election he desperately wants.
Traditionally only the Leader of the Opposition can do that, but Boris threw down the gauntlet to the SNP and Lib Dems too tonight.
“If the party opposite does not have confidence in the Government, they will have a chance to prove it,” he blasted.
“I think the people of this country have had enough.
“Out of sheer political selfishness and political cowardice members opposite are unwilling to move aside and let the people have their say.
“This Parliament must either stand aside… or bring a vote of confidence and finally face a day of reckoning with the voters.
“Will they have the courage to act or will they refuse to take responsibility yet again and do nothing but delay?
“Why would they not? What are they scared of?”
He gave them until the end of the day to put a motion down to try and bring him down tomorrow – but no party responded to his call.
Downing Street sources said that if a vote of confidence in him wasn’t called they would assume MPs have confidence in Boris’ plan to leave the EU on October 31 no matter what – and refused to rule out shutting Parliament down again to achieve it.
And they even suggested Tory MPs could vote tactically to bring down their own government too.
This Parliament must either stand aside… or bring a vote of confidence and finally face a day of reckoning with the voters
Boris was applauded by jubilant Tories at the end of his speech.
But leftie boss Corbyn ignored his demand for an election yet again – until he’s delayed Brexit.
He claimed Boris was “not fit for office” and accused the government was “failing the people of Britain”.
Mr Corbyn said: “For the good of this country, he should go.
“He says he wants a general election. I want an election. It’s very simple – if you want an election, get an extension and let’s have an election.”
Attorney General Sir Geoffrey Cox earlier told MPs to watch out for an election motion that will be coming before the House shortly” – but one has yet to appear.
And he ripped into disgraceful Labour MPs for stopping the PM from going to the people.
He fumed: “This Parliament is a dead Parliament. It should no longer sit. It has no moral right to sit on these green benches.
“They could vote no confidence at any time but they are too cowardly.
“The time is coming Mr Speaker, when even these turkeys won’t be able to prevent Christmas!”
Parliament sitting again also throws up in the air the Tory party’s conference in Manchester, which is set to begin on Sunday.
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But the minister revealed that the next election vote could be different from the last two.
Boris could decide to bring forward a short “one line bill” to scrap the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – or to bring forward an early vote on top of the current rules.
At the moment two thirds of MPs are needed to call an early election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – as it’s usually once every five years.
But ditching the law completely would only need the support of half of the House of Commons.
Labour has insisted they won’t vote for an election until after a Brexit delay has been secured and implemented after October 17.
However, the SNP are urging Mr Corbyn to try and topple the PM now, and have said they won’t vote down an early election.
Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgeon said: “Labour will force a General Election once the extension preventing No Deal is nailed down.
“That could be right after the EU summit. Or sooner if the extension is sorted before.”
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His comments come after talks between the Lib Dems and Labour about forcing Boris to seek an extension earlier.
Lib Dem boss Jo Swinson said: “Parliament can be innovative and inventive.
“We saw in September the House of Commons take control of the order paper to pass legislation.
“That’s the type of way forward which may well enable us to take the threat of a No Deal Brexit off the table much sooner than the 19 October.”
If the plan to take control of Parliament succeeds again they could force Boris to seek an extension to Article 50 even sooner – even as early as next week.
A defiant Mr Johnson has refused to quit as PM despite Mr Corbyn – and other opposition ministers – calling for his head.
On Tuesday, Boris said he “strongly disagreed” with the ruling of the 11 justices at the Supreme Court but vowed he was going nowhere.
What happens next now MPs are back in Parliament?
MPs have returned to Westminster in chaos after the Supreme Court ordered Boris’ shutdown of Parliament as “unlawful”.
In effect, it means that Parliament was never really shut down and just had a short break.
Ministers gave five statements to MPs in the House of Commons – including on Thomas Cook, Brexit and Iran.
Boris will then address MPs about the damning Supreme Court verdict and will answer their burning questions.
The PM’s spokesperson said this morning he will address the next steps.Boris could try and shut down Parliament yet again – but this is unlikely after the verdict yesterday.
Or he could try and secure a short recess for a few days so the Tories can hold their conference in Manchester next week.
SNP MPs are pushing for a vote of no confidence in Boris to try and topple the Government, but Labour aren’t on board yet.
They don’t want to risk an election where Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal on October 31 in the middle of the campaign.
At the moment the law insists that the PM should seek an extension if they don’t have a deal by October 17.
However, Boris has vowed not to ask for a third delay under any circumstances.
EU leaders have said they will only grant one for a specific purpose – like an election or a second referendum.
But if they are faced with the prospect of a No Deal Brexit, it’s likely they would green-light another delay.
Boris has insisted he WON’T resign despite the chaos but has no majority in the Commons to get anything done.
And without a Queen’s Speech, he can’t bring forward any new laws either.He’s still hoping to secure a deal at the October EU summit, which he will bring back for MPs just days before the Brexit deadline.
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