Tory rebels have sparked fury among the ranks after they got behind the veteran socialist leader in a move that could help him pick up the keys to Downing Street to block the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Furious Tories warned rebel MPs they would never be forgiven for potentially handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Downing Street to block Brexit.
The extraordinary move comes after Mr Corbyn called for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lead a “strictly time-limited temporary government” that would block Brexit in a bid to call a General Election.
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Three Tory-ex ministers, Dominic Grieve, Sir Oliver Letwin and Dame Caroline Spelman have agreed to meet Mr Corbyn to plot to stop Britain leaving the Brussels bloc without a deal.
In a letter to the Labour leader, the three and ex-Tory MP Nick Boles said they believed stopping a Brexit no deal should be “their common priority”.
Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn is plotting to stop Boris Johnson’s plans for a no deal Brexit
Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn is plotting to block no deal Brexit
And backbencher Guto Bebb said he would rather install the Labour leader as a caretaker prime minister than allow Mr Boris to take the UK out of the EU without an agreement.
He told the BBC: “A short-term Jeremy Corbyn government is less damaging than the generational damage that would nee caused by a no deal Brexit.”
While Mr Grieve said although it would be “unlikely” Mr Corbyn would succeed, he said he was in “agreement with him”.
He added: “But he has written a letter in which he sets out his desire to prevent a No Deal Brexit and on that I am in agreement with him because it is something that is going to have such a catastrophic impact.”
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Cabinet minister Grant Shapps urged the rebels to “think very, very carefully” about the dangers of Mr Corbyn in Number 10.
He said: “Jeremy Corbyn would wreck our economy, he would destroy jobs and the livelihoods, savings, I think he also can’t be trusted with security or crime.
“I just say to them you know you really need to think very very carefully about installing Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street. It absolutely cannot happen for the sake of this country.”
But Mr Corbyn’s plans to take the keys to Downing Street were quickly crippled by the leader of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party, Jo Swinson, who said Mr Corbyn was not the right figurehead for an emergency government.
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Brexit news: Grant Shapps urged the rebels to “think very, very carefully” about the dangers of Mr Corbyn in Number 10
She said: “We are facing a national crisis. We may need an emergency government to resolve it but if Jeremy Corbyn truly wants that to succeed, surely even he can see, he cannot lead it.”
Backbencher Michael Fabricant added: “It is remarkable that given that the Lib Dems think this offer from Jeremy Corbyn is a big joke, some of my colleagues are taking it seriously.
“As a former government whip, I hope that their action will not be forgotten.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a battle on his hands as he works towards his “do or die” pledge to take the UK out of the EU by October 31, with or without a deal.
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A spokeswoman for Mr Johnson’s office said the Labour leader was showing contempt for the 2016 referendum.
She said: “Jeremy Corbyn believes that the people are the servants and politicians can cancel public votes they don’t like.”
MPs return from their summer break on September 3 for a battle over Brexit that will determine the fortunes of the world’s fifth-largest economy.
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Mr Johnson has a working majority in parliament of just one seat, including several MPs who have said they could vote to bring down the government.
However, without the Liberal Democrats’ 14 votes, Mr Corbyn’s plan is unlikely to succeed.