Jeremy Corbyn has urged MPs to trigger a general election as he attacked Theresa May’s “zombie government” for being unable to secure a Brexit deal.
The Labour leader hit out at the Conservative’s record in power as he moved a motion of no confidence against the government in the Commons.
Corbyn claimed the electorate should now get a say on who continues the Brexit negotiations, although he declined to guarantee what position Labour would take on the issue in an election campaign – saying it would be down to party members to decide.
The no confidence motion is being held after the largest ever defeat suffered by a government in UK history saw of May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday evening.
Speaking from the despatch box, Corbyn said: “Yesterday’s historic and humiliating defeat was the result of two years of chaos and failure.
“This government is not capable of winning support on its core plan for the most vital issue facing this country.
“This Prime Minister has lost control and this government has lost ability to govern.”
He added: “It’s time to resign and allow the people to elect a new parliament to deal with the issues facing this country.”
The chances of May being defeated in the vote – due to take place at 7pm on Wednesday evening – appear slim as some of the Prime Minister’s most vocal critics in her own party promised to back her.
The DUP – which provides the government with its majority in parliament – is also planning to support the Prime Minister.
In response to Corbyn, May claimed a general election is “simply not in the national interest”.
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.”
Conservative MP Mark Francois, a member of the hard Brexit European Research Group of Tories, told May that while the pair do not see “eye to eye” on her EU strategy, he would be backing her in the vote.
“I am a Conservative first and last, and I know opportunism when I see it,” he said, adding: “So can I tell her when the bells ring the whole of the ERG will walk through the lobbies with her to vote this nonsense down.”
Another critic of the PM, Tory MP Anna Soubry – who believes there should be another referendum on the UK’s relationship with the EU – rounded on Corbyn in the death, describing him as “the most hopeless leader of the opposition that we’ve ever had”.