Corbyn hints at effort to oust May this week
But leader refuses to say if Labour would campaign to deliver Brexit
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.
Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn appears on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, in London on Sunday .