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Corbyn says ‘ready and champing at the bit’ for UK election
[LONDON] The Labour Party is ready and "champing at the bit" for an early UK election, its leader Jeremy Corbyn will say on Thursday, while accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson of "using the Queen" to win support.
Mr Johnson suspended Parliament to set out a new program for government, which will be announced by Queen Elizabeth II on Oct 14. But Mr Corbyn will say Mr Johnson's minority government is unlikely to get Parliament to approve any legislative plan, and the event will be a "cynical stunt" probably just weeks before a national vote.
"On Monday, we will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson's Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to Parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering," Mr Corbyn will say in a speech in central England. "Johnson is using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party."
With Parliament deadlocked and Brexit talks at stalemate, political parties are gearing up for an early election, though none is scheduled before 2022.
Mr Johnson has announced an array of spending pledges in recent weeks, and Mr Corbyn will use his speech Thursday to reinforce commitments to raise the minimum wage, ban fracking, and offer a second referendum on Brexit.
Mr Johnson has twice tried and failed to persuade Parliament to vote for an early election. Opposition parties say they don't trust him to obey a law intended to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal on Oct 31 and won't back a national vote until an extension to Brexit has been secured from the European Union.
"Prime minister, we can't trust you not to break the law because you've got form," Mr Corbyn will say, according to extracts of his speech released by his office. "So it's simple: obey the law, take no deal off the table and then let's have the election. We're ready and champing at the bit."