Poplar MP Jim Fitzpatrick rails against Corbyn and backs ‘no confidence’ vote to stop Boris Johnson
PUBLISHED: 13:05 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 28 August 2019
A vote of no confidence in the government over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move today to suspend parliament over Brexit would be supported by Labour’s MP for Poplar and Limehouse.
It would be the "cleanest way" to stop crashing out of Europe without a deal, Jim Fitzpatrick has told the East London Advertiser, despite going against his own party's stand.
"Parliamentary opinion is to prevent the government doing what it wants," he said. "A vote of no confidence would determine parliamentary opinion and wouldn't lead to a snap election."
Going to the polls by November is likely to have problems for Tower Hamlets Labour party which may not have enough time for a selection process to replace Jim, who is stepping down after 22 years representing his east London constituency at Westminster.
An alliance of MPs to form an interim "alternative government" before then wouldn't work, Mr Fitzpatrick believes, because the numbers don't stack up in the Commons.
"There aren't enough MPs to oppose the government," he said. "Such an alliance would need all independent MPs and enough Tory rebels to succeed, but the numbers just aren't there."
Yet his stand goes against what Labour is now pushing for. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed cross-party plans against a vote of no confidence in order to give priority to try legislation to stop a no-deal Brexit instead.
Labour won't go for a vote that might block such legislation, Corbyn has told MPs.
But now Boris Johnson is to ask the Queen to suspend Parliament a few days after MPs return in September and only weeks before the Brexit October 31 deadline.
The Labour leader today branded the move "an outrage and a threat to democracy".
Most commentators now predict a likely snap election, which may be a problem for Labour to select a candidate at Poplar and Limehouse because it leaves very little time for the selection process to replacer Jim Fitzpatrick, especially as the local party wants an all-female shortlist.
The ticking clock could lead to Labour's national executive parachuting in a candidate for the safe seat that Jim has held since 1997, including boundary changes when it previously took in Canning Town before 2010.