Downing Street ramps up election prep as Corbyn throws down gauntlet

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s team within Downing Street is ramping up preparations for a general election, as Jeremy Corbyn today pledges to make a second referendum part of his campaign.

Government advisers have been tasked with producing ideas that can be taken forward during a general election, according to the Guardian. At a meeting on Friday, Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings told special advisers they had a week to come up with a page of ideas.

The paper also reports that a meeting between Johnson and political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby is due in the next few days.

The Australian who worked on David Cameron’s 2015 and Theresa May’s 2017 campaigns is also expected to meet the Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Eddie Lister, although others including political secretary Danny Kruger have also demanded to be present.

Last week, MP Damian Hinds posted a screengrab of his inbox, inadvertently revealing emails discussion plans for an upcoming election. Meanwhile it was reported that Conservative Associations have gone on a pre-campaign hiring spree.

This morning Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn travelled to the marginal Midlands seat of Corby to demand Johnson hold an election.

He will say: “Labour believes the decision on how to resolve the Brexit crisis must go back to the people. And if there is a general election this autumn, Labour would commit to holding a public vote, to give voters the final say, with credible options for both sides, including the option to remain.”

Corbyn will use the speech to blast Johnson as “Britain’s Trump, the fake populist and phoney outsider, funded by the hedge funds and bankers, committed to protecting the vested interests of the richest and the elites, while posing as anti-establishment”.

He will add: “The Tories under Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to deliver on their quick fix election promises – because their first priority is tax cuts for the big corporations and the richest. Boris Johnson and the Tories can’t be trusted to deliver for the majority because they will always look after their own… Labour can be trusted to deliver: to end austerity, to take on the elites and the vested interests holding people back, and to transform our country for the many, not the few.”