December Election Battle On
Political parties are readying themselves for a general election campaign after MPs voted for a 12 December poll. The legislation approved by MPs on Tuesday will later begin its passage through the House of Lords, where it is not expected to be opposed.
Boris Johnson says he is ready to fight a “tough” general election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the snap poll gave a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to transform the country.
His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said the election wouldn’t just be about Brexit – telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It will be about austerity [and] about what’s happened to our public service.”
But Mr Johnson hopes the vote will give him a fresh mandate for his deal to leave the EU and break the current deadlock in Parliament.
He told Conservative MPs it was time for the country to “come together to get Brexit done”, adding: “It’ll be a tough election and we are going to do the best we can.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “certainly not yearning for general election”, but he believed it was “the only way to move the country forward”.
The poll comes after the EU extended the UK’s exit deadline to 31 January 2020 – although Brexit can happen earlier if a deal is agreed by MPs.
The leaders of the UK’s main two political parties will face off for Prime Minister’s Questions at midday on Wednesday.