In his response to the Prime Minister’s Brexit Negotiations Statement, leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn appears to have threatened Labour MP’s with removing the whip.
In what was a very understated Prime Ministerial statement to the House of Commons, compared to ever other one that Boris Johnson has attended as Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn – the leader of the Labour party – said in his response that “every” Labour MP could not support his Brexit proposal.
Boris Johnson had 24 hours previously unveiled his brexit negotiating position during his speech to the Conservative Party Conference which this year was held in Manchester.
Jeremy Corbyn’s comments in the chamber seemed to imply that should a Labour MP break ranks and vote for the Boris deal, that they would surely lose the Labour whip.
With the expectation that there would be anywhere from four (the number already declared as supporting the deal) to twenty of his MP’s who would be very tempted to defy the whip and vote for the deal, Corbyn could find that the statement comes back to haunt him.
Corbyn has spent the last few weeks deriding the Prime Minister for removing the Tory whip from those who voted against him, but now he finds himself in a very similar situation.
I find it a very strange, and very weighted thing to say, when the parliamentary numbers game may become so crucial in the coming weeks as the UK heads towards the currently scheduled October 31st Brexit date.
If (and as it stands, it’s a very big if) the opposition parties try to get together to oust the Prime Minister and form a caretaker Government, the numbers – which currently don’t stack up anyway – would have no chance whatsoever with 20-odd more MP’s having gone from the Labour ranks and into the independent ranks. Who knows, they may well even swell the Lib Dem ranks, who have said they would not entertain a Corbyn-led caretaker government.
The Parliamentary poker game continues…