Labour will force immediate no confidence vote in new PM, warns Labour’s John McDonnell

Labour vows to force a no confidence vote in new Tory PM as soon as they take office – potentially triggering an election if new Conservative leader cannot hold their party together

  • Labour will seek to force a vote of no confidence in the next Prime Minister
  • Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Theresa May’s successor would face ‘moral pressure’ to call a general election
  • Recent opinion polls put Labour seven points clear on the Tories who are in third place behind the Brexit Party 

Labour will seek to force a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s successor as soon as he or she takes office, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has warned.

Speaking as the race to be next Tory leader – and Prime Minister of the minority Conservative government – got underway, the shadow chancellor said the newcomer would face ‘moral pressure’ to call an election.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if Labour would call a no-confidence motion in the next Tory leader, the shadow chancellor said: ‘Yes, because we believe any incoming prime minister in these circumstance should go to the country anyway and seek a mandate.’

The Labour shadow chancellor, photographed this week in Westminster, has said his party will try to force an immediate no confidence motion in Mrs May’s successor

A poll two weeks ago gave Labour a seven-point lead over the Conservatives who languished in third place behind the new Brexit Party formed by Nigel Farage.

David Cameron secured a surprise narrow majority for the Tories against Ed Miliband in 2015, but when she tried to improve on that position in 2017 Mrs May lost her majority as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party made gains.

Her minority government is currently propped up by a confidence-and-supply agreement with the 10 MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Mr McDonnell’s comments went further than his statement the previous evening, when he told ITV News on Friday that a new Tory leader would face moral pressure to call a general election in order to secure a democratic mandate. 

‘That’s the first thing,’ he said.

‘The second thing of course [is that] we always have the opportunity of a no-confidence motion in parliament, and we will explore that. 

‘And the way in which the Conservative party remains divided, whoever is elected as their leader, there will be a prospect that some Conservative MPs now will think ‘maybe we should go back to the country’.’

This weekend an anonymous Tory MP told the Telegraph the party needs a snap election like it needs ‘a hole in the head’

The pro-EU Conservative warned Mrs May’s decision to step down could deepen the crisis engulfing the party.

This morning the shadow chancellor told Sophie Ridge the party would 'if necessary' call for a second referendum rather than agreeing to a no deal Brexit

This morning the shadow chancellor told Sophie Ridge the party would ‘if necessary’ call for a second referendum rather than agreeing to a no deal Brexit

‘We need a general election like we need a hole in the head,’ they said.

‘This leadership election could be for the Tories what the Spanish flu was after the First World War.’

But Lord Heseltine, the Remainer former Tory deputy prime minister who recently lost the party whip after urging voters to vote against the party, said a referendum or general election was the ‘one way out of our present situation’.

This morning, John McDonnell moved towards openly backing a second referendum, which Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said today was  the party’s only was avoiding electoral oblivion.

Speaking to Sophie Ridge on Sky, Mr McDonnell said: ‘We want to see the other opposition parties, we want to make sure we have that conversation within our own party and with some Conservative MPs who have said, like us, they will not vote for a no deal Brexit and yes, we’ve said that if necessary, let’s have a general election about this and if necessary, yes, let’s go back to the people again.’