Labour open to compromise on Johnson’s Brexit deal, says McDonnell

Labour has said it remains open to a “compromise” with the Government which could allow Boris Johnson to get his Brexit deal through Parliament.

Following inconclusive talks between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a “dialogue” with ministers was continuing.

Mr Johnson has said he is ready to push for a general election after his attempt to fast-track the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the Commons hit the buffers on Tuesday.

The Cabinet is meeting in political session on Thursday – without civil servants present – heightening speculation they will seek to go for a December poll.

However, under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) that would require a two-thirds “super majority” of MPs – effectively meaning Labour support would be necessary.

Speaking to reporters at Westminster, Mr McDonnell said that Labour was ready for an election “whenever it comes”.

However he refused to be drawn on whether it would vote for a motion tabled under the FTPA.

“We will see what happens. We are trying to take this in stages. We will confront that hurdle when we see it,” he said.

Earlier Tory Party chairman James Cleverly accused Labour of “running scared” of a general election amid continuing “confusion” over its position on Brexit.

“We’ve been calling for a general election, me personally, the Prime Minister, my friends and colleagues all around the country, for months now,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“The Labour Party are running scared and I can completely understand why, their Brexit message is confused at best.”

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