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Staff leave cancelled at Number 10

THE possibility of a snap general election after a no-deal Brexit appears to be growing after No 10 cancelled government advisers’ holiday until after October 31.

The advisers received an email on Thursday from Boris Johnson’s chief of staff Edward Lister saying that they cannot take any holiday until after the date that Britain is due to leave the European Union due to “serious work to be done,” it was reported yesterday.

Mr Lister also said that compensation would be considered “on a case-by-case basis” for those who had already booked leave.

Earlier this week, former supreme court judge Lord Sumption stated that MPs could only prevent a no-deal Brexit and general election by tabling a confidence vote in Mr Johnson and successfully forming a new government in the 14 days before an election would be automatically triggered.

On Friday, senior Labour and Liberal Democrat figures clashed over their parties’ apparent willingness to place conditions on any unity government or coalition prepared to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour would attempt to form a government in the 14 days following a confidence vote but ruled out Labour backing any unity government candidate, such as Ken Clarke or Dominic Grieve.

Labour has said any MP wishing to stop a no-deal Brexit should give their backing to Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to form a government.

But former Labour MP turned Lib Dem Chuka Umunna claimed a “substantial minority” of Labour MPs would not support their own party leader being prime minister.

In response, Mr McDonnell tweeted: “Umunna [is] making it clear that he’s putting his personal animosity towards Jeremy Corbyn and Labour before the interests of the country. 

“The Lib Dems are clearly willing to watch the economy crash before they will put their party interests to one side.”

It comes after Mr Corbyn wrote to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill on Thursday accusing Mr Johnson of plotting an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power.”

In his letter, he demanded urgent clarification of the purdah rules, which are meant to prevent the government taking major policy decisions, including no-deal Brexit, during an election campaign.

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