Senior Labour MPs have insisted they are relishing the prospect of a December general election, despite one of their colleagues describing the plan as “sheer madness”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was called a “chicken” by Boris Johnson after initially opposing plans for an early poll, said the conditions for Labour to back a Christmas-time poll in the Commons had now been met.
“No Deal is now off the table, so tonight Labour will back a General Election,” he tweeted.
“We’re launching the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.
“This is a once in a generation chance to build a country for the many, not the few. It’s time.”
Several members of Mr Corbyn’s top team also backed the party’s shift in stance.
Shadow Employment Minister Laura Pidcock – one of the favourites to be next Labour leader – echoed others, simply posting: “Bring it on!”
However, not all in the party were pleased. Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman described the move to back an election “on Boris Johnson’s agenda” as “sheer madness”.
“I hear Labour frontbenchers & whips resigning over decision to vote for December election,” he claimed.
Likewise, Green Party MP and former leader Caroline Lucas said the decision to back an election was “hugely disappointing”.
“Why give Johnson exactly what he wants?” she asked.
“Election – (especially) under First Past the Post – won’t resolve Brexit.
“Many examples of majority Govt being returned on minority vote – real risk that the majority in favour of #PeoplesVote won’t have voices heard.”
Although supporting his party’s decision, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan suggested a new referendum was still the most important next step in the Brexit process.
“But if there is to be a general election first, then those whose future is most affected must be given a say – including 16 and 17-year-olds and EU citizens living in the UK,” he added.
And former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron appeared to have his tongue firmly in his cheek when he responded to the development.
“Hang on, I don’t think Corbyn has specified which Christmas…” he tweeted.