Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has forcefully waded into Britain’s deepening political and constitutional crisis by warning against a general election.
Blair’s intervention came after Corbyn said that the UK “needs” a general election to address the country’s spiralling political crisis, as demonstrated by PM Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in order to facilitate a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking in Salford on Monday, Corbyn asserted that a general election is the “democratic way forward” in so far as it would give the people a choice between “two very different” directions for the country.
Corbyn’s strident tone comes ahead of parliament reconvening today from the summer recess. Corbyn said this week could be the “last chance” to stop Johnson’s no-deal Brexit.
But in a speech at the Institute of Government (a thinktank founded by Lord Sainsbury), Blair described a snap general election as an “elephant trap” for the Labour party.
In a sharp rebuke aimed at Corbyn, Blair said that if Johnson “mixes up” the “Brexit question” with the “Corbyn question” he could succeed in a general election, because some “may fear a Corbyn premiership more”.
Johnson is expected to call a snap general election in the event of MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit.
A general election may also become inevitable if a vote of no confidence against Johnson succeeds and no alternative government was in place within 14 days.
Blair has often attacked Corbyn’s leadership and in the past has implicitly backed plans to remove Corbyn as Labour party leader. Back in May Blair attacked Corbyn’s “equivocation” on Brexit.
Following his resignation as PM in 2007 Blair embarked on a controversial business career. In the latest controversy, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change admitted in September 2018 to accepting donations from Saudi Arabia.
In an investigative piece, The Telegraph, on 11 June, 2015, revealed that the British taxpayer was paying up to £16,000 a week to help Blair build his massive business empire.