In case Guido readers haven’t had time to keep up with the rumour mill, here’s what’s going down in the Westminster Bubble as election speculation reaches boiling point:
- The PM has convened a last-minute cabinet meeting for 5 pm, with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg saying Boris will discuss calling an election this week
- This is well-timed to be followed by a previously-arranged garden party with all Tory MPs. Great way to get all his MPs in one place for any announcements…
- No. 10 have publicly said they are treating tomorrow’s Remainer plot to take over the House of Commons Order Paper as an implicit vote of confidence in the Government’s negotiation strategy – many are reading into this as a vote of confidence in the government as a whole.
- In the event of a government defeat on Tuesday or Wednesday, Boris would seek an election.
- Questions still linger over when the election would be held if it is agreed by Parliament – a decision the government would take a lead on.
- If it was Boris’s desire to hold an election as soon as possible, Parliament could agree to an election on the September 5, and hold it as soon as October 10.
- Some remainer MPs have become paranoid the PM could call an election with what appears to be a “reasonable” polling date before October 31, then use prerogative powers to move the polling day out until after the Brexit deadline. Making a No Deal Brexit a fait accompli regardless of the election outcome…
Stick with Guido for any further updates…
UPDATE: Watch Tory Party Chairman, James Cleverly, fail to rule out an election three times:
UPDATE II: The Sun now saying Boris will call an election for 5 week’s time if the rebel MPs manage to pass anti-No Deal legislation tomorrow – perhaps as early as Wednesday. Something he can do provided he has 2/3 majority support of MPs…
UPDATE III: The Brexit Party has released a statement saying it is open to a non aggression electoral pact with the Tories, if Boris completely abandons the Withdrawal Agreement beyond the backstop.
“Nigel Farage has made clear that the Brexit Party would put Country before party if Boris Johnson commits to an unambiguous, No Deal Brexit. We can make Boris a hero in that situation. A non aggression pact Leave Alliance would deliver a very significant majority for this position.
If Johnson brings back a re-hashed version of May’s Non Withdrawal Treaty, just without the dreaded backstop, is not Brexit and we will oppose his candidates in every seat, denying the Tories hope of victory. Partnership is the best way to deliver what 17.4m voted for”.