Labour refuses to give instant response to prime minister’s call for an early poll

Boris Johnson has abandoned his “do or die” pledge to leave the EU by 31 October and will plead with MPs next week to give him a pre-Christmas general election.

The prime minister wrote to Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday night saying he would give parliament one last opportunity to scrutinise his withdrawal agreement bill and “get Brexit done” by 6 November. But he will also table a motion under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act next Monday asking for an early general election. It will require the backing of two-thirds of MPs to succeed.

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