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Jeremy Corbyn kicks off ‘fun’ snap election

29 October 2019

12:54 PM

29 October 2019

12:54 PM

‘It’s going to be fun’.

Thus a beaming Jeremy Corbyn announced that he had decided his condition for a general election had been met, namely that there won’t be a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

And so he fired the starting gun on six weeks of campaigning before a polling day (probably) of December 12.

I personalise the decision as Corbyn’s because that is how his fellow shadow cabinet members characterised it to me.

“This is what Jeremy wants”, one told me. “He was dead set on it”, said another.

And some of them are filled with foreboding – either because they would much rather there is a Brexit referendum before we’re asked to choose a new government, or because they fear Labour cannot repeat its popularity surge of 2017.

Even some of those who are Corbyn-supporting zealots looked a bit grim when I spoke with them this morning.

That said, there will be argy-bargy in the Commons this afternoon, as opposition parties amend the government’s general-election bill to try and give the vote to EU nationals with settled status and to 16-to-17 year-olds.

Will government and opposition parties allow these disputes over the make-up of the electorate to derail the election before it is even formally agreed?

I very much doubt that.

Both front benches are now and unusually as one – well their leaders are anyway – that an election is coming.

Robert Peston is ITV’s Political Editor. This article appeared on his ITV News blog


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