Friday 6 September 2019 9:29 am

Labour confirms it will not back an early election in Monday's vote

Labour will refuse to back an early election if Prime Minister Boris Johnson goes ahead with a planned second vote on one on Monday night, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said.

Asked in an interview on the Today Programme if it would be a “no” from Labour, Thornberry said: “yes”.

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Johnson failed to get the required backing of two thirds of the Commons to hold an early election in a vote on Wednesday, but the government announced yesterday it plans to hold a further vote on Monday.

Thornberry said this morning Labour’s problem with the proposed vote was that, under the Fixed-term Parliament Act, “if we vote to have a general election, then no matter what it is that Boris Johnson promises, it is up to him to advise the Queen when the general election should be.”

Thornberry said Labour could not trust Johnson as “he has shown himself to be a manifest liar, and someone who has said that he will die in a ditch rather than stop no deal”.

“Our first priority has to be that we must stop no deal and we must make sure that that is going to happen,” she said.

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There is not a consensus within senior Labour figures on when an early election should take place, but shadow chancellor John McDonnell said yesterday his preference would be to “go long”.

Asked whether she thought an election should wait until after the crucial EU summit on 17 October and after an article 50 extension has been agreed, Thornberry said she was “not going to go into details”, but added: “My instinct on this is the same as John’s.”