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McDonnell pleads for top civil servant’s help to prepare Labour for power

John McDonnell is pleading for a meeting with the Treasury’s most senior civil servant to prepare Labour for power.

Labour is battling to try to force a General Election and the collapse of Theresa May’s Government if she fails to get her Brexit deal through the Commons next month.

And with the party on an election war-footing, the shadow chancellor has written to Sir Tom Scholar, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, to request a meeting.

He said the meet-up will help ensure a ‘smooth transfer of power, obviously depending on the outcome of that election’. 

Mrs May is staring down the barrel of defeat on her divorce package after 100 of her Tory MPs publicly vowed to vote down her Brexit deal.

John McDonnell (pictured at a meeting in London last week) is pleading for a meeting with the Treasury’s most senior civil servant to prepare Labour for power

The mutinous Conservatives have joined Labour the SNP, the Lib Dems and the DUP in tearing into the divorce package.

If the PM suffers a massive defeat on the vote, on December 11, then her Brexit deal and premiership could lie in tatters.

Theresa May snubs call for Boris Johnson to be included in live TV Brexit debate 

Theresa May today dismissed demands for Boris Johnson or Nicola Sturgeon to join the live TV Brexit debates. 

The PM said that throwing the invite open to politicians across the political divide would see the same old referendum arguments re-run.

Instead, she is insisting it is a head to head showdown between her and Jeremy Corbyn so the two leaders have to explain their Brexit stance.

It comes after Number Ten has faced furious demands from Brexiteers for a ‘true believer’ like Mr Johnson to join the clash.

While other leading political parties including the SNP, Lib Dems, and the Greens have all demanded a spot to – and threatened legal action if they are snubbed.

But speaking to journalists on a plane on her way to Buenos Aires for the G20 summit, the PM said: ‘This is not a debate about recreating the referendum debate of Leavers versus Remainers.’

 

More Tory MPs could join the mutinous ban who have already sent their letters of no confidence in to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory Party’s 1922 Committee.

In a letter obtained by TalkRadio, Mr McDonnell has requested the top level meeting as he and Jeremy Corbyn eye up Number Ten.

It reads: ‘Currently as shadow chancellor, I’m working with my shadow ministerial team and a team of advisors led by Lord Kerslake, in an exercise to prepare our shadow treasury team for government in the light of a possible early general election.’

He also warned that Labour is preparing to tear up the Treasury’s green book – the official guidelines on how to come up with and assess economic forecasts – and to impose a post election Budget.

Mr McDonnell added: ‘I’m writing to seek a meeting with you to discuss our thoughts and proposals given the potential for an early election.

‘In view of the current instability in government as a result of which an election could come at any time, I believe it behoves us to make suitable preparations now to ensure that there is a smooth transfer of power obviously depending on the outcome of that election.’ 

Mr McDonnell also today repeated his view that if there is a second referendum  dubbed a People’s Vote – then Remain should be on the ballot. 

Speaking to TalkRadio, he said: ‘The ballot paper will be determined by Parliament. It’s difficult to see Parliament deciding if there is to be a choice that they wouldn’t have at least some sort of Remain option on there.

‘But it will be determined by Parliament if we get to that state.’ 

It came as Mrs may today ruled out a Norway-style Brexit fudge as she stares down the barrel of a Commons defeat – with around 100 Tories vowing to oppose her deal.

Theresa May was at the G20 summit in Argentina today with leaders including Jean-Claude Juncker (centre) and Emmanuel Macron (right). But as she scmoozes with leaders abroad, she is staring down the battle of defeat over her Brexit deal at home in the UK

Theresa May was at the G20 summit in Argentina today with leaders including Jean-Claude Juncker (centre) and Emmanuel Macron (right). But as she scmoozes with leaders abroad, she is staring down the battle of defeat over her Brexit deal at home in the UK

The PM warned that her plan is the only option that ‘delivers on the referendum’ as she scrambles to win support ahead of a crunch Commons vote on December 11. 

Leading Cabinet Eurosceptic Liam Fox urging Conservatives to do their ‘duty’ and back the plan – insisting the premier’s gruelling PR drive is ‘changing the public mood’.

Dr Fox said the choice facing MPs was ‘stark’, suggesting killing off the deal could lead to the referendum result being ‘stolen’ by Remainers.

But with Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems all joining the Tory rebels in opposition to the deal Mrs May appears to be on track for a catastrophic defeat in the looming showdown. 

One anxious minister said the stand-off between Mrs May and Eurosceptics, who are demanding she renegotiates with the EU, ‘feels like a game of chicken’.    

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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