Wednesday 19 June 2019

'This Frankenstein deal is now officially dead' - Jeremy Corbyn urges Theresa May's 'zombie government' to make way

Jeremy Corbyn Picture: PA
Jeremy Corbyn Picture: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Theresa May's "zombie government" to make way and declared her "Frankenstein" Brexit deal officially dead as MPs debated a no confidence motion.

The Labour leader attacked Mrs May for presiding over "the largest defeat in the history of our democracy" on her Brexit deal before saying there has been no offer of all-party talks from the Prime Minister to break the impasse.

He also criticised the Government's record on issues beyond leaving the EU before facing Tory taunts, with former minister Anna Soubry labelling him the "most hopeless Leader of the Opposition we've ever had".

MPs are expected to vote on Mr Corbyn's motion of no confidence in the UK government at 7pm on Wednesday, with Tory critics of the PM's deal rallying behind her.

Mr Corbyn told the House of Commons: "Last week they lost a vote on the Finance Bill, that's what called supply. Yesterday they lost by the biggest margin ever, that's what's regarded as confidence.

"By any convention of this House, by any precedence, loss of both confidence and supply should mean they do the right thing and resign."

Mr Corbyn said the deal has been "decisively rejected", but if Mrs May was "so confident" of it, "she should have nothing to fear from going to the people and letting them decide".

He added: "If a government cannot get its legislation through Parliament it must go to the country for a new mandate, and that must apply when it is on the key issue of the day."

Conservative Chris Philp (Croydon South) intervened, accusing the Labour leader of "shameless political opportunism" and trying to "disguise the fact that on this great issue he has no policy".

Having criticised the "zombie Government", Mr Corbyn also said: "This Frankenstein deal is now officially dead and the Prime Minister is trying to blame everybody else."

Conservative former minister George Freeman later referenced the Prime Minister's talks to secure a Brexit consensus, asking Mr Corbyn: "When those cross-party talks start would he tell the House which of the Scarlet Pimpernel will come - the Leader of the Opposition who campaigns for Remain in London and the South East, or the Leader of the Opposition who campaigns for Brexit up North?"

Mr Corbyn replied: "There has been no offer of all-party talks, there has been no communication on all-party talks - all the Prime Minister said was she might talk to some members of the House.

"That isn't reaching out, that isn't discussing it, that is not recognising the scale of the defeat they suffered last night."

Mrs May rose to cheers and the stamping of feet from her backbenchers and told Mr Corbyn a general election would be "the worst thing we could do".

She said: "It would deepen division when we need unity, it would bring chaos when we need certainty, and it would bring delay when we need to move forward, so I believe this House should reject this motion.

"At this crucial moment in our nation's history, a general election is simply not in the national interest.

"Parliament decided to put the question of our membership of the European Union to the people, Parliament promised to abide by the result, Parliament invoked Article 50 to trigger the process, and now Parliament must finish the job."

SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart intervened to say: "She's lost a quarter of her Cabinet, 170 members of her backbench want her gone, she's experienced the biggest defeat in parliamentary history - what shred of credibility has her Government got left? For goodness' sake, Prime Minister, won't you just go?"

Mrs May laughed off the question and told him he would have a chance to air his views in the debate.

Online Editors

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