Johnson seeks snap election
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Thursday for an early election after a flurry of parliamentary votes tore up his hardline Brexit strategy and left him without a majority.
His government said it would make a second attempt on Monday to trigger the national polls after the opposition Labour Party helped block Johnson’s first bid.
“It is now time for the people to decide after parliament failed them, so we can resolve this once and for all,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
The vote’s timing is still being debated as the country hurtles toward an October 31 departure from the EU without a plan for what comes next.
Johnson was dealt a further personal blow when his brother, Jo, said he was quitting his junior ministerial role and not contesting his seat in parliament in the new ballot.
“I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest – it’s an unresolvable tension and time for others to take on my roles,” he tweeted.
Battle lines were drawn across the front pages of British newspapers after a bruising week of UK politics did little to resolve the three-year impasse.
The Labour-backing Daily Mirror branded Johnson “Britain’s worst PM” for threatening a “reckless no-deal Brexit”.
The Daily Mail shot back by calling Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a “chicken” for refusing on Wednesday to back Johnson’s proposal to hold a general election on October 15.
An opinion poll conducted by YouGov on Monday and Tuesday showed Johnson’s Conservatives leading Labour by 35% to 25%.
The pro-European Liberal Democrats were on 16% while the Brexit Party of populist Nigel Farage was in fourth place with 11%.
Parliament is rushing through legislation designed to keep Johnson from breaking Britain off from its closest trading partners without a negotiated agreement with Brussels.
The pound surged to a one-month high against the dollar on rising hopes of a chaotic breakup being averted.