That’s No10’s stark warn­ing to its own MPs it pre­dicts ‘Ar­maged­don’ in wake of no conf idence vote

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Glen Owen

LABOUR is plot­ting to un­seat Theresa May within days, Tory MPs have been warned.

Jeremy Cor­byn could call a no­con­fi­dence mo­tion as early as Wed­nes­day if Con­ser­va­tive rebels force a Gov­ern­ment de­feat over Brexit the pre­vi­ous night.

The Op­po­si­tion leader was last night ready­ing for a fight at the bal­lot box by set­ting out his ‘vi­sion’ for Bri­tain un­der a Labour Gov­ern­ment.

Labour strate­gists have pounced on No10’s warn­ing to wa­ver­ing Tories in marginal seats that they face ‘Ar­maged­don’ if they vote down Mrs May’s deal with Brus­sels and their re­bel­lion trig­gers a Gen­eral Elec­tion.

If a no con­fi­dence vote is called on Wed­nes­day, the DUP is threat­en­ing to join forces with Labour un­less the Prime Min­is­ter is re­placed by a Brex­i­teer such as Boris John­son.

In an al­ter­na­tive sce­nario, proBrexit MPs have also been told that a no con­fi­dence vote could lead to lead­ing Re­main­ers such as Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond join­ing forces with Labour to force the UK to stay in a cus­toms union with Brus­sels.

How­ever, the DUP de­nies that it would move against Mrs May; and many Tory MPs believe that Labour will hold off call­ing a vote of no con­fi­dence be­cause it is equally di­vided over Brexit – and does not want to in­herit the mess.

One DUP MP told The Mail on Sun­day last night that they would not vote against Mrs May, say­ing: ‘I’ve told her so to her face. We just want her to go back to Brus­sels and sort this out as I am sure she can.’

An­other se­nior DUP source in­sisted ‘the leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party is a mat­ter for the Con­ser­va­tive Party and we have all promised to back the Prime Min­is­ter in a con­fi­dence vote’.

But Labour added to the pres­sure last night by an­nounc­ing that Mr Cor­byn would un­veil a new party po­lit­i­cal broad­cast on Wed­nes­day in which he would ‘spell out how Labour plans to unite and re­build the coun­try’ and ‘cam­paign on a grow­ing view that aus­ter­ity and in­equal­ity has cre­ated a coun­try of haves and have-nots’.

The party also an­nounced that it was hir­ing poll­sters for the next Elec­tion ‘to test poli­cies and the im­pact of cam­paign­ing in key marginals’ and had se­lected 100 can­di­dates for the clos­est-fought seats.

Labour sources claimed that the most re­cent polling showed that the coun­try has ‘moved eco­nom­i­cally to the Left’.

One said: ‘While the Gov­ern­ment has been locked in bit­ter in­fight­ing and chaos over their botched Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions, the needs of the coun­try have been ne­glected. Tory aus­ter­ity has left the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple worse off, cre­at­ing a cost of liv­ing cri­sis and lev­els of poverty not seen since the 1930s.

‘Our Elec­tion cam­paign strat­egy will set out a pos­i­tive vi­sion of how we will make the coun­try bet­ter, one of fair­ness and good pub­lic ser­vices, where we sup­port each other.’

But Tory party chair­man Bran­don Lewis urged his MPs to fall into line to avoid let­ting Mr Cor­byn into No10.

He told The Mail on Sun­day that if Mrs May’s deal was re­jected, ‘all that would be left is Par­lia­ment work­ing to block a no-deal exit and, come March 29, no Brexit.

‘Vot­ers would see that Par­lia­ment had the op­por­tu­nity to de­liver on the ref­er­en­dum and chose not to.

‘Jeremy Cor­byn, a Brex­i­teer through­out his 30 years in Par­lia­ment, would choose the path of least re­sis­tance and could well end up try­ing to push through a Sec­ond Ref­er­en­dum at the be­hest of his party. That would be a gross be­trayal of Bri­tish democ­racy and of the ref­er­en­dum – the big­gest demo­cratic vote in our na­tion’s his­tory. It would plunge the pub­lic’s trust in politi­cians to new lows and re-open divides across the coun­try.

‘The clock is tick­ing. Tonight we will be just 48 hours away from this his­toric vote. We have 48 hours to de­liver on the ref­er­en­dum re­sult. We have 48 hours to save Brexit’.

Mr Lewis’s deputy, James Clev­erly, also stoked ru­mours that the party is pre­par­ing for an Elec­tion cam­paign by tak­ing aim at Lyn­ton Crosby, the Aus­tralian elec­tion strate­gist who played a key con­sul­tancy role in Theresa May’s doomed 2017 Elec­tion.

Mr Clev­erly said: ‘One of the de­ci­sions made af­ter the 2017 Elec­tion was that we needed to have an in­house Elec­tion-win­ning ca­pa­bil­ity.

‘Lyn­ton fa­mously said that you can’t fat­ten a pig on mar­ket day. Which ba­si­cally means if you’re not do­ing the hard work be­tween Elec­tions it doesn’t mat­ter how much money you spend on a guru, they can’t turn around an Elec­tion if you’re not al­ready on the road to win­ning it.’

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