Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has accused Lancashire’s Labour MPs of ’running scared’ of a General Election after they refused to back the Prime Minister’s motion last night. All of Lancashire’s Labour MPs abstained, apart from Hyndburn MP Graham Jones, who broke the party whip to vote against the motion.
Under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act of 2011 the government required a two-thirds majority of members – or 434 MPs – to win the vote and send the public to the polls on October 15th. Boris Johnson accused Jeremy Corbyn of being “characteristically evasive, if not frit” for failing to vote for an early election after two years pushing for one.
Commenting on Lancashire’s Labour MP’s failure to vote for an early election, Mr Evans said:
“By voting to take no-deal off the table Labour MPs are preventing the Prime Minister from securing the best deal from the EU - a basic principle of any negotiation is to withhold your final position until the last possible moment. There is no need for another extension which will add further uncertainty and ensure the EU are not made to budge on their position for another 3 months, at which point we will be back to where we are today.
“Part of the Brexit extension bill states that the EU can choose the length of an extension - without a limit - and the Prime Minister must agree to it. Each month that Brexit is delayed costs British taxpayers around £1 billion, vast sums of money that could be better used investing in public services.
“I see no other recourse than hold an early general election to determine if the public want Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn to lead us out of the EU. Not only do Lancashire’s Labour MPs wish to ignore the will of their constituents by trying to keep us in the EU, they are now running scared of the prospect of letting the public have their say in an early general election.”