Johnson insists he does not want election as he urges MPs not to delay Brexit

Boris Johnson pleaded with Tory MPs not to support measures to block a no-deal Brexit amid speculation he could call an election if he loses the Commons showdown.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 6:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 11:39 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking outside his official residence in London's Downing Street. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 2, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit . Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The Prime Minister insisted "I don't want an election, you don't want an election" but he said he would not seek an extension to the Brexit deadline - which is what the cross-party alliance are demanding if there is not a deal.

In a statement in Downing Street following an unscheduled Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson urged his MPs not to join Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in backing a "pointless" delay.

Mr Johnson had to contend with the noise of protesters at the gates of Downing Street as he delivered his statement.

He said if MPs voted against the Government and backed the cross-party Bill they would "chop the legs" out from under the UK's position in negotiating a deal with the EU.

He said: "I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the Government against Corbyn's pointless delay.

"I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts."

The Prime Minister claimed the chances of a Brexit deal are rising and he was "encouraged by the progress we are making" with Brussels.

- By David Hughes, Political Editor, and Harriet Line, Deputy Political Editor, Press Association