Wales politics

November 'could be' right time for election - Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford
Image caption Mark Drakeford said he is not prepared to take assurances from the PM

November could be the right time to hold a general election, first minister Mark Drakeford has said.

BBC Wales has been told there is growing opposition to an October election among Welsh Labour MPs.

MPs have already blocked a proposal for an election earlier this week - the prime minister is due to make another call for one on Monday.

Mr Drakeford insisted his party wants a general election, and is ready to take on the Conservatives.

He has backed plans to prevent Boris Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal before calling a general election.

Labour and opposition parties are in talks about how to respond to Mr Johnson's call for a snap election on 15 October, amid concern over whether a poll should be delayed until after an extension has been agreed to prevent a no-deal Brexit next month.

A Welsh Labour source in Westminster told BBC Wales opposition to an October election was "hardening".

Labour's Caerphilly MP Wayne David told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers his and Labour's view was "we're against an early general election before 31 October and the reason for that is quite simple - we do not trust Boris Johnson."

Shadow Defence Secrerary Nia Griffith said: "The fact is we have to avoid being in any sort of trap where we could be struck out of the EU without a deal."

'It has to be nailed down'

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has said voters will be angry with opposition MPs who wanted an election in the past but blocked Boris Johnson's attempt to hold one.

"We want a general election, we want to get rid of this government," Mr Drakeford told BBC Wales Today.

Pressed on whether he would support the election taking place in November, he said: "November could well be the time to have it, after the 31 October."

He said Welsh Labour was "not just ready" but "looking forward to it. But not at a price of a no deal Brexit."

Speaking at a news conference ahead of a debate of the Welsh Assembly to discuss Brexit, First Minister Mark Drakeford supported the opinion of his Welsh Labour colleagues.

He added: "I think the key thing is that the date of the general election is set in a way that does not allow this prime minister any leeway whatsoever to subvert the decision of Parliament.

"It has to be nailed down and it's not for me to have a view of exact dates because the way in which it can be nailed down can have an impact on that date but I think that that's what the Labour frontbench in Westminster will be working with others over the coming days to secure."

The first minister said he was "instinctively not attracted" to electoral pacts, saying "people who want to vote for the Labour Party can know that there will be a Labour Party candidate there for them to vote for".

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