SNP's Sturgeon says would support Labour leader Corbyn as caretaker UK PM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-28 03:07:53|Editor: yan
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LONDON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- As potential plots were hatched Friday to remove Boris Johnson out of 10 Downing Street, the under-fire prime minister continued his defiant message that Britain will be leaving the European Union on Oct. 31 "come what may".

In the latest development on the Brexit front, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) said in Edinburgh she agreed with the idea of installing opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a caretaker prime minister to secure an extension of Britain's EU departure date.

Sturgeon's proposal came under fire from the minority Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives.

Sturgeon said on her social media site she agrees with installing Corbyn as prime minister through a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson's Conservative administration so Corbyn can secure a Brexit extension, before then calling an immediate snap general election.

Sturgeon added: "Nothing is risk-free but leaving Johnson in the post to force through no deal, or even a bad deal, seems like a terrible idea to me."

Later in a television interview in Scotland, Sturgeon said she was "no great fan of Corbyn" and was not pushing for him or anybody as interim prime minister.

"My point is the opposition needs to act to get Boris Johnson ... out of office, stop a no-deal and then, as quickly as possible, move to a general election."

Wendy Chamberlain, the Scottish Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for constitutional relations, said: "We need a plan that has a whiff of a chance of working. Liberal Democrats will back a temporary government to stop a no-deal Brexit, but that cannot be led by the divisive Jeremy Corbyn."

Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP group of MPs at Westminster, said Corbyn would have the first option to form an interim government, as he is the leader of the opposition, in the event of a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government.

Meanwhile, Kirstene Hair, the Conservative MP for the Scottish constituency of Angus, said Sturgeon's message confirmed what many have long suspected that SNP MPs will happily prop up Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10.

Hair added Corbyn's stance on a second independence referendum for Scotland was a deciding factor for the Scottish nationalists.

"He has already left the door open for a re-run of the 2014 referendum if he becomes prime minister," said Hair.

A spokesperson for the SNP said later the party would continue to work with all opposition MPs to stop a no-deal Brexit and call a general election to remove Johnson.

The spokesperson said the aim was to have a temporary caretaker prime minister, who would be in office only as long as is necessary to send a letter to Brussels to seek an extension of Britain's membership, with a general election held immediately afterwards.

Writing an article Friday in the Houses of Parliament's in-house journal, Johnson wrote: "We are leaving the EU by 31 October come what may. This is absolutely crucial in order to renew and restore trust in our precious democracy."

Johnson added: "I would much prefer the UK to leave the EU with a deal, and the government I lead is working flat out to do its part to make that happen. We have also stepped up preparations and will be fully prepared to leave without an agreement."

Across the English Channel, Britain's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said Friday there is still time for Britain to strike a deal with the EU despite pessimism in Brussels.