Anti-Brexit MPs plotting to replace Boris Johnson with ‘unity’ prime minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglewsorth/PA Wir

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglewsorth/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Remain MPs within the House of Commons are considering a plan to replace Boris Johnson with a 'unity prime minister' who would delay Brexit and call a general election.

The Financial Times reports that rebel MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit are planning to install a replacement for Boris Johnson should he push ahead with taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union by October 31st.

Boris Johnson is hoping to delay an election beyond October 31st so that he can deliver Brexit with or without a deal.

But while the prime minister has reportedly refused to resign even if he does lose a no-confidence vote, opponents are looking to win the vote and use the "cooling off" which follows it to install a new government that would command a majority in the House of Commons.

It is then expected Jeremy Corbyn would try to create his own government - which would most likely fail - making way for the rebels' "government of national unity".

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It is believed this short-term government could gain the confidence of the Commons by urging the EU to delay Brexit and then calling for a general election.

Names touted as a replacement prime minister include Yvette Cooper, Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas or Hilary Benn.

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But it would require Labour working with opposition parties, including the Lib Dems, SNP and Change UK to make it happen, something Jeremy Corbyn might be reluctant to do.

Last week Sir Nicholas Soames suggested a "national government" without Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson in it was the most likely outcome of the Brexit paralysis.

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