Wales politics

Brexit: Labour 'will run scared' from PM's election call

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe PM says an early poll would create a "credible" deadline for passing a Brexit deal

Labour will "run scared" from Boris Johnson's call for a 12 December election, a Welsh Tory MP has said.

The prime minister has said MPs can have more time to debate his Brexit deal if they back a poll on that date.

Conservative Monmouth MP David Davies said "calling for an election is absolutely the right thing to do".

Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford called the offer "bogus, with barely more time to get the bill through Parliament than already on offer".

"It is time the prime minister finally puts the country before his party and comes back with a sensible way forward," he tweeted.

Labour Swansea West MP Geraint Davies accused Mr Johnson of behaviour "very much like gangster politics".

Yet shadow leader of the House of Commons Valerie Vaz said Labour would back an election "once no-deal is ruled out and if the extension allows".

Mr Johnson said he expected the EU to grant an extension to his 31 October deadline, though he "really" did not want one.

He has urged Labour to back the election in a vote he plans to hold next week.

David Davies told BBC Wales "we need an election and the public know that".

"Labour have been calling for one month after month and then they said they were going to support one if we didn't get an extension, which I assume we'll have by Monday so let's see if they'll keep their word," he said.

Image caption David Davies: "This is a good move - we need an election and the public know that"

The EU is expected to give its verdict on delaying Brexit on Friday.

In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Johnson says his "preferred option" is a short Brexit postponement "say to 15 or 30 November".

In that case, he writes, he will try to get his deal through Parliament again, with Labour's support.

If, as widely expected, the EU's Brexit delay is to the end of January, Mr Johnson says he will hold a Commons vote next week on a 12 December election.

If Labour agrees to this, the government says it will try to get its deal through before Parliament is dissolved for the campaign on 6 November.

Geraint Davies said the prime minister was trying to "push through this reckless deal and go straight into a general election, while frankly what we need is a public vote".

"It's very much like gangster politics," he said.

"He's ramming through this reckless deal which we haven't been able to scrutinise and immediately after the gun and smoke of that deal he wants to have a general election in the hope that he finds himself in Number 10 with a bigger majority and we'll face the consequences.

"The people should have the final say on the deal before we have an election."

Image caption Geraint Davies: "After the gun and smoke of that deal he wants to have a general election"

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said his party's priority was also a "final say referendum, rather than an election, as the clearest way to end the Brexit chaos".

"If his gamble fails on Monday, the prime minister has no option but to resign.

"It will be for the opposition parties to find a common way forward and form a government with a sensible plan to end the chaos."

The SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said "we want an election but these terms are not acceptable," adding that the poll should take place earlier than the middle of December.

Montgomeryshire Conservative MP Glyn Davies said Mr Johnson had made a "really good offer and I implore the opposition to accept it so that we can move and get Brexit done".

"I don't think it's ever happened in history when an opposition has asked for a general election as many time as the Labour has and they just turn it down again and again."

More on this story