Politics

Boris Johnson is ‘using Queen to deliver party broadcast’

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA Media

The PM is “using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast”, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader called holding a Queen’s Speech, which is due to take place on 14 October, before an expected election a “cynical stunt” in a speech.

And he said he is “champing at the bit” to have an election once a no-deal Brexit is taken “off the table”.

The Queen’s Speech allows the government to outline its priorities at the start of a parliamentary year.

However, speaking in Northampton, Mr Corbyn described the event as “a farce” with the government “setting out an agenda to Parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering”.

“This government isn’t going to put any legislation before Parliament.

“It has a majority of minus 45, a 100% record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.”

‘Trust’

The Labour leader also said he wants a general election, once the possibility of a no-deal Brexit is removed.

Last month, MPs passed legislation known as the Benn Act, which requires the government to seek an extension to the negotiating process, if a deal with the EU is not agreed, or no-deal is agreed to, before 19 October.

But the Labour leader argued that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to do this.

“Prime minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form,” he said.

“We can’t trust you not to use the period of an election campaign to drive our country off a no-deal cliff edge that will crash our economy, destroy jobs and industries, cause shortages of medicine and food and endanger peace in Northern Ireland.

“So it’s simple: obey the law, take no-deal off the table and then let’s have the election.

“There’s only one reason it hasn’t happened yet – we can’t trust you.”

Mr Johnson has tried to call a general election arguing it would break the Brexit impasse – a move which has been rejected by opposition MPs.

During his speech, Mr Corbyn also set out his plans for an alternative Queen’s Speech describing it as “the most radical of modern times”.

Mr Corbyn said a Labour government would hold a referendum on Brexit, immediately rise the minimum wage to £10 an hour for workers aged 16 and over, ban fracking, scrap university tuition fees and introduce free prescriptions in England.

Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has said she could “see the sense” in having another referendum on Brexit before a general election.

Asked if she was lobbying Mr Corbyn to support such a vote before a general election, she said: “A number of us are trying to think of a way through this.”

Source: bbc.co.uk

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