Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would be happy to support an early election – but not just yet.
In a tweet posted after the government’s defeat in Parliament, Corbyn said the vote can go ahead after no-deal Brexit “is off the table, once and for all.”
Corbyn has been calling for an early vote for months, which begs the question why, when presented with an opportunity to have one, he decided against it.
The simple answer: agreeing to the election on Wednesday would mean following Boris Johnson’s plan.
That’s not something Corbyn was willing to do.
He said he believed that agreeing to the election could have jeopardised the bill stopping no-deal Brexit which the House of Commons passed earlier on Wednesday.
The bill still needs to go through the House of Lords. And while the Lords don’t have the power to reject the bill, they can attempt to delay the proceedings.
Timing is crucial, because Parliament is scheduled to be suspended for five weeks starting next week.
If the bill doesn’t make it through the Lords before the recess, it won’t become a law until after Parliament comes back. Throwing in an election at that time wasn’t something Corbyn was prepared to allow.