Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that Labour will back Boris Johnson’s push for a snap general election after a three-month extension to the Brexit process was confirmed.
The Labour leader’s decision comes ahead of a Commons debate later on Tuesday on the Government’s Early Parliamentary General Election Bill, which calls for a poll on 12 December.
It comes despite the party having previously ruled out a vote in the run-up to Christmas out of fears that it would leave students “disenfranchised”.
Addressing the shadow Cabinet on Tuesday morning, Corbyn said that the EU’s agreement to a UK request to extend Brexit to 31 January had satisfied his requirement that a no deal Brexit must be avoided for any vote to take place.
“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to 31 January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking No Deal off the table has now been met.”
Both the Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats previously announced they would also back a poll yesterday, although there is some uncertainty over the date. A government bill calling for an election that will be voted on today sets a date of 12 December, although the SNP and Liberal Democrats for the vote on 9 December, intended to stop government from attempting to pass its Brexit withdrawal bill though parliament before the poll.