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Opposition parties say ‘no’ to no-confidence vote this week

Talks: Jo Swinson with Chuka Umunna and Layla Moran PICTURE: LNP

OPPOSITION MPs have announced they will not force a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson this week, amid ongoing arguments about who could replace him as interim prime minister.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and other parties held talks yesterday and agreed they were ‘united’ in trying to avoid a no-deal Brexit on October 31. However, the rival MPs could not agree on proposals to topple Mr Johnson and replace him with a caretaker government.

The SNP has reportedly expressed a willingness for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become interim PM — an idea rejected by the Lib Dems and some rebel ex-Tory MPs.

Interim: Corbyn could be PM PICTURE: LNP

The talks were held amid fears that Mr Johnson will try to wriggle out of the recently passed Benn Act, which compels him to send a letter to Brussels asking for a Brexit extension if his government has been unable to secure a deal by October 19.

Sources suggested opposition parties may now wait up to three weeks before trying to make a move on Mr Johnson, by which point they hope he will have made the request to the EU. An alternative plan put forward by the Lib Dems to force him to send the letter even earlier — by this Saturday — was rejected.

Debate: John Bercow rejected request

Opposition parties suffered a further blow yesterday when Commons speaker John Bercow rejected their request for an emergency debate on the disclosure of government no-deal planning papers.

Meanwhile, political leaders have vowed to tone down their language after Brexit tensions boiled over. In a joint statement, they said: ‘We all accept that we have a responsibility to try to use moderate language.’