GMB: Reid compares Keir Starmer to Boris Johnson
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The Prime Minister will be handed back the powers to trigger an early general election by tearing up the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA). The legislation for an election every five years will be repealed when the Queen announces the Government’s plans in her speech to mark the official state opening of parliament on Tuesday. The next general election is scheduled to take place in May 2024, but Labour’s disastrous local election results could tempt the Prime Minister to turn the screw and bring the date forward.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party has been thrown into disarray after losing control of eight councils and unseating 326 councillors across England.
Labour also suffered a humiliating loss to the Tories in the Hartlepool by-election – the first time the constituency has turned blue.
The results from the local election comes just 18 months since Jeremy Corbyn led the party to its worst general election defeat for almost 100-years.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons, confirmed the FTPA will be repealed and cited the blockade the piece of legislation caused in 2019.
Parliament was left in a deadlock over Brexit and MPs spent months wrangling over when the next election should take place.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I am glad to say the FTPA will be repealed.
“That’s already been draft legislation and that is something we will be looking at in the next session.
“It will restore the status quo ante. It will ensure we have the constitution acting properly and don’t have the absurd shenanigans we had in 2019.”
When pressed as to whether it meant Mr Johnson could trigger an early election, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Subject to the normal conventions.
“The conventions will be restored alongside the Royal prerogative.”
The FTPA was created in 2011 by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government.
The act served as a safety-net for the Liberal Democrats to prevent the Tories calling another national vote and potentially ousting its junior partners from Number 10.
A Downing Street source has played down the prospect of an early election.
They said: “There are no discussions about an early election. We are entirely focused on recovering from the pandemic and building back better.”
But, Sir Keir has spoken publically and told his party to be ready for a vote in 2023.
Speaking last month, the Labour leader said: “I’ve instructed the party to be election ready for 2023.”
Sir Keir has taken full responsibility for his party’s poor election performance and has wielded the axe on his shadow cabinet.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has been removed from her roles of party chairwoman and campaign co-ordinator.
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The decision triggered widespread anger from the left-wing of the party and later on Sunday it was confirmed she would take on the role of shadow Cabinet Office minister and shadow first secretary of state.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds was demoted to party chairwoman and replaced by Rachel Reeves.
Veteran chief whip Nick Brown also stood down to be replaced by Alan Campbell.
Sir Keir held a shadow cabinet meeting this morning and is said to have told his top team: “To be clear, I take responsibility. Nobody else. I lead the Labour Party and it is entirely on me.”
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