- There is growing speculation that Boris Johnson is preparing to call a snap general election.
- The UK’s government’s key spending plans announcement was mysteriously brought forward on Tuesday.
- Chancellor Sajid Javid is expected to unveil a series of handouts to voters weeks earlier than planned.
- It has also emerged that Johnson is preparing to suspend parliament in order to block MPs from stopping a no-deal Brexit.
- Reports suggest Johnson’s government intends to force through Brexit before going back to the polls.
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There is growing speculation that Boris Johnson’s government will soon call a snap general election after it triggered a series of measures apparently designed to prepare for going back to the polls.
Chancellor Sajid Javid on Tuesday moved forward a spending announcement scheduled for October, to the very beginning of September.
The spending review – in which the United Kingdom government unveils its spending plans for the coming year – was originally set for October. Javid was expected to preview it in a major speech on Wednesday morning.
However, the Treasury on Tuesday evening mysteriously said that Javid’s speech had been cancelled, and that the spending review would be brought-forward to September 4 – the day after Parliament returns from summer recess.
Johnson promises a spending bonzanzo weeks before a potential election
This triggered speculation that Prime Minister Johnson is preparing for a general election in the autumn by revealing additional funding for an array of public services.
He has already pledged to give extra money to areas like the Police and schools. This week he said that his government would also spend £1 billion on improving high streets in 100 towns across the country.
Chancellor Javid wrote in The Telegraph today that the Conservative government will be able “to spend more” than it has done in recent years.
“Thanks to the hard work of the British people over the last decade, we can afford to spend more on the people’s priorities – without breaking the rules around what the government should spend – and we’ll do that in a few key areas like schools, hospitals and police,” Javid said.
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: Nobody is fooled into believing that this is a proper and normal Spending Review. It’s a one off pre-election panic driven stunt budget.
“As each spending announcement is dribbled out it is exposed as inadequate and whole areas of spending needs like local councils and addressing child poverty are ignored. This is not serious government.”
The prime minister will shut down Parliament
Meanwhile, it emerged on Wednesday that the government is planning a Queen’s speech on October 14, in which the monarch will spell out the government’s plans for the coming parliamentary session. Under the UK constitution, the House of Commons would be suspended for around a week prior to the speech, which combined with the planned recess period for party conference, would leave MPs little time to stop a no-deal Brexit through legislation.
There have been rumours for weeks that Johnson would call an election in the autumn after after having a show-down with MPs over his plan to deliver Brexit on October 31, with or without a deal.
Opposition MPs led by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are plotting to block a no-deal Brexit on Halloween.
Around 160 MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit gathered in Church House, near the Houses of Parliament, on Tuesday, and signed a pledge to prevent a no-deal exit “using whatever mechanism possible.”
They would prefer this to come in the form of legislation,with the Financial Times reporting that MPs plan to take control of the House of Commons order paper and legislate for a further extension to the Article 50 process.
However, MPs opposed to no deal are ready to bring Johnson down in a no confidence vote if necessary.
The Conservative party on Tuesday accused the involved politicians of “plotting to cancel the votes of 17.4 million people” in an attack ad that was widely-interpreted as campaign material for an upcoming general election.
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