Jeremy Corbyn dodges question on timing of no-confidence vote

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn | Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn dodges question on timing of no-confidence vote

UK Labour Party leader says a defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal would not necessarily lead to him trying to topple government.

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1/10/19, 1:52 PM CET

Updated 1/10/19, 1:55 PM CET

If MPs vote against the Brexit deal, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn said he would call a motion of no confidence in the government “at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success.”

Delivering a speech on Brexit in Wakefield, in the north of England, the Labour Party leader also said it is “a possibility” that the Article 50 negotiating period would need to be extended.

The government is widely expected to lose a ratification vote scheduled for next Tuesday evening on the Brexit deal Theresa May negotiated with Brussels. But answering questions from journalists after the speech, Corbyn declined to say whether he would call a confidence vote immediately after such a rejection of the deal by MPs.

“We will move a motion of no confidence in the government at a time of our choosing when we judge there would be the best chance of success,” he said when pressed on whether he would trigger a vote immediately.

Corbyn also reiterated his party’s policy that there should be a general election. “This political chaos cannot go on. The only way out of it is a general election,” he said, adding Labour’s Brexit policy in its manifesto would be a matter for the democratic structures of the party.

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