Johnson seeks boost in support for Brexit

Tom Watson gave a speech to the Creative Industries Federation at Somerset House in London

Tom Watson gave a speech to the Creative Industries Federation at Somerset House in London

Wednesday will also mark a deadline set by MPs for the Government to publish communications connected to prorogation and no-deal Brexit planning.

Mr Farage says he will not field candidates in any of the Conservatives' existing seats and targets if, in return, the Tories stand aside in more than 80 Leave-voting constituencies where they are unlikely to win.

Farage, who as UKIP leader pushed then-Prime Minister David Cameron to call the Brexit referendum and then helped lead the campaign to leave the European Union, said he was preparing for a another Brexit referendum.

Starmer, who addressed the TUC congress in Brighton on Wednesday, played down Labour's divisions, saying the party was united around a second referendum.

"Our priority is to get a general election in order to give the people the chance to elect a government that cares for them, not themselves".

Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "There's absolutely no way we will let him do that before he's secured an extension".

"My experience on the doorstep tells me most of those who've deserted us over our Brexit policy did so with deep regret and would greatly prefer to come back; they just want us to take an unequivocal position that whatever happens we'll fight to remain, and to sound like we mean it", he will say.

Tom Watson right is at odds with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit
Tom Watson right is at odds with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit

Opponents said the real reason was to shut down debate and challenges to his Brexit plans.

This is undoubtedly correct, and a barnstorming speech in which the Labour leader welcomed attacks by the Financial Times (which sniffed that his party was "determined to shift power away from bosses and landlords and to workers and tenants") and vowed to "unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we've ever seen" marks a welcome shift from the parliamentary games in which Labour has been complicit in recent weeks. "What we are trying to do is implement the result of the 2016 referendum".

Mr Corbyn said he would make a decision over which way Labour would campaign in a new referendum after the party has negotiated a deal with the EU.

The Liberal Democrats said: "We were absolutely rock solid on rejecting out of hand Boris Johnson's attempt to cut and run with a general election".

The PM had already kicked off his unofficial election campaign with a visit to Yorkshire on Thursday, during which he re-announced his police recruitment drive.

Mr Johnson said he wanted to head to the polls next month to break the political deadlock, and accused opposition parties of making "outrageous excuses" to delay a vote.

Johnson's bid to quit the bloc "do or die" on October 31 has hit the buffers: parliament has ordered him to delay Brexit until 2020 unless he strikes a deal, while a new Brexit Party is threatening to poach Conservative voters.

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