Cor­byn hints at ef­fort to oust May this week

But leader re­fuses to say if Labour would cam­paign to de­liver Brexit

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LABOUR could call a con­fi­dence vote this week if Theresa May's Brexit deal is de­feated this week, Jeremy Cor­byn hinted to­day. Mr Cor­byn made clear the party is on high alert to try to force the PM out and a gen­eral elec­tion.

He sug­gested the Brexit date will have to be de­layed if he suc­ceeds, but re­peat­edly re­fused to be drawn on whether Labour would cam­paign on a man­i­festo to take the UK out of the EU.

Asked in an in­ter­view on the BBC's An­drew Marr show whether a no-con­fi­dence vote would hap­pen im­me­di­ately if, as ex­pected, Mrs May's pack­age is re­jected by the Com­mons on Tues­day, Mr Cor­byn replied: 'It is go­ing to be soon, don't worry about that.'

De­spite des­per­ate last-ditch pleas, Mrs May is still fac­ing a mas­sive de­feat in the crunch Brexit vote with hard­line Re­main­ers and Brex­i­teers mo­bil­is­ing in a bid to thwart her plans.

Mr Cor­byn has so far re­sisted pres­sure from his own ranks to force a con­fi­dence vote, with al­lies in­sist­ing there is no point as the gov­ern­ment would win.

But there have been mount­ing signs that he is ready to take ad­van­tage of Mrs May's mo­ment of max­i­mum weak­ness.

In the in­ter­view to­day, Mr Cor­byn said: 'The cru­cial thing is Tues­day. And then, if this Gov­ern­ment can't con­trol Par­lia­ment, it's time to have a gen­eral elec­tion.'

Duck­ing and div­ing as he was pressed on whether Labour would cam­paign on a man­i­festo to de­liver Brexit, Mr Cor­byn said 'we're cam­paign­ing for a coun­try that is brought to­gether by in­vest­ment'.

He added later: 'We're cam­paign­ing for a cus­toms union.' The Labour leader said his party will 'de­cide our man­i­festo con­tent as soon as we know there's an elec­tion com­ing'. Pressed about the op­tion of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum, Mr Cor­byn stressed his pref­er­ence for a gen­eral elec­tion. 'My own view is that I'd rather get a ne­go­ti­ated deal now, if we can, to stop the dan­ger of a no-deal exit from the EU on March 29 - which would be cat­a­strophic for in­dus­try, cat­a­strophic for trade and the long-term ef­fects of that would be huge.' Asked if Ar­ti­cle 50 needed to be ex­tended, Mr Cor­byn said: 'Clearly if Theresa May's deal is voted down, clearly if a gen­eral elec­tion takes place and a Labour gov­ern­ment comes in an elec­tion would take place Fe­bru­ary, March time - clearly there's only a few weeks be­tween that and the leave date, there would have to be time for those ne­go­ti­a­tions.'

Pressed about the op­tion of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum, Mr Cor­byn stressed his pref­er­ence for a gen­eral elec­tion.

THERESA May is fac­ing an all­out bid by Re­mainer rebels to stop Brexit go­ing ahead by tear­ing up the Com­mons rule­book.

The 'coup' could see the gov­ern­ment stripped of con­trol over busi­ness in Par­lia­ment paralysing the PM and po­ten­tially al­low­ing MPs to pre­vent the UK crash­ing out with­out a deal.

Speaker ready to help back­bench upris­ing

The move could be launched within hours of Mrs May's Brexit plan be­ing heav­ily de­feated on Tues­day, as seems in­evitable.

The ma­noeu­vring was only un­cov­ered by Chief Whip Ju­lian Smith when he over­heard con­spir­a­tors in the

MPs' cloak­room. Min­is­ters have been warned suc­cess for the plot­ters could make it im­pos­si­ble for the gov­ern­ment to cling on.

REUTERS

Bri­tain's op­po­si­tion Labour party leader Jeremy Cor­byn ap­pears on the BBC's An­drew Marr Show, in Lon­don on Sun­day .

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