Describing British Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration a “zombie government” that “cannot govern”, the opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday called for a general election.
Opening a debate on a no-confidence motion, Corbyn said the government “should do the right thing and resign” after Tuesday night’s record-breaking defeat on its Brexit legislation, BBC reported.
The prime minister, however, said an election was “simply not in the national interest”.
The no-confidence vote was expected to be held at about 19:00 GMT.
Corbyn’s motion is backed by MPs from the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Green Party.
But senior Labour figures accept it is not likely to succeed, as she has the backing of Tory rebels and the DUP’s 10 MPs, who less than 24 hours ago helped inflict a humiliating defeat on her.
Labour says further no-confidence votes could follow if this one fails.
“The prime minister has consistently claimed that her deal, which has been decisively rejected, was good for Britain workers and business… she should have nothing to fear by going to the people,”
Corbyn told MPs, adding that 2011’s Fixed-term Parliaments Act “was never intended to prop up a zombie government”. He also said the prime minister had “lost control” and suffered an “historic and humiliating defeat”.
May, who is also Leader of the Conservative Party, told MPs it was Parliament that decided to put the question of European Union membership to the people, “and now Parliament must finish the job”.
She said extending Article 50, the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March, to allow time for an election would mean “delaying Brexit for who knows how long”.
A general election would “deepen divisions when we need unity, it would bring chaos when we need certainty,” she said.