Thornberry: Labour will not support an election before October 31st

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry. Photograph: PA.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry. Photograph: PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has signalled that Labour will oppose an early election in Monday's vote.

Thornberry said Boris Johnson was "as slippery as can be" and could not be trusted over the timing of polling day.

She told the Today programme: "The possibility of having a general election obviously is extremely attractive, but we have an immediate crisis in front of us and that has to be sorted before we do anything else."

"Unfortunately, given the behaviour of the prime minister and his advisers, we need to be absolutely sure that we are not going to end up in a situation where the general election is used as a distraction while they, by some cunning wheeze, bounce us out of the European Union without a deal."

"If we vote to have a general election then, no matter what it is that Boris Johnson promises, it is up to him to advise the Queen when the general election should be."

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She continued: "Given that he has shown himself to be a manifest liar and somebody who has said that he would 'die in a ditch' rather than stop no-deal, and indeed his adviser (Dominic) Cummings has been swearing and shouting at MPs saying 'They are leaving on the 31st, no matter what', our first priority has to be that we must stop no-deal and we must make sure that is going to happen.

"We have a prime minister who is so unlike any other prime minister that we have had. In the past, if you passed a law you could be pretty sure the prime minister will abide by that law.

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"But we heard from the prime minister's own mouth that he will die in a ditch - obviously I hope he doesn't, but I actually hope he would obey the law."

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