What have the UK's party leaders said about an early general election?

Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London on September 4, 2019. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a crucial parliamentary vote on his...

Boris Johnson wants to call a general election in October.

Leaders of the opposition parties in the UK have grouped together to reject Boris Johnson's proposal to call a general election in October. Mr Johnson is planning a general election on 15 October - two days before the scheduled EU summit in Brussels.

The proposed date of the general election would also be a distraction ahead of the Brexit deadline on 31 October. All of these factors have convinced opposition party leaders to team up and promise to block any attempt to force an early election.

Here, we take a look at what the leaders of the opposition parties have said about Mr Johnson's early election plan.

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally ahead of a shadow cabinet meeting on September 02, 2019 in Salford, England. The Labour leader is making a major speech about the battle to...

A spokesperson for Labour confirmed that Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn held positive talks with other leaders about rejecting Mr Johnson's early election plan. The spokesperson said (quotes via BBC): "Jeremy Corbyn hosted a positive conference call with other opposition party leaders this morning. They discussed advancing efforts to prevent a damaging no-deal Brexit and hold a general election once that is secured."

Speaking in the House of Commons about Mr Johnson's plan, Mr Corbyn added: "This motion from the Prime Minister is about playing a disingenuous game that is unworthy of his office," and he confirmed that he would welcome a general election after 31 October.

Jo Swinson: Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson talks onstage at a 'Let Us Be Heard' rally as Pro-remain supporters gather in Westminster on September 4, 2019 in London, England. Activists from People'...

Jo Swinson - who recently succeeded Vince Cable as the Lib Dems leader - has not given a direct quote on this topic yet. But a Lib Dem spokesperson said (quotes via The Evening Standard): "We were all clear we are not going to let Boris Johnson cut and run. The Liberal Democrat position for a while now is that we won’t vote for a general election until we have an extension agreed with the EU. I think the others are coming round to that. As a group we will all vote against or abstain on Monday.

Tom Brake added his opinion to this debate. The MP for Carshalton and Wallington took to Twitter to say: "[Boris Johnson] can't be trusted with an election on his terms when he has shown he will use every trick in the book to force through his #Brexit agenda."

Ian Blackford: Scottish National Party

Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons Ian Blackford speaks to thousands of pro-EU demonstrators gathered for a cross-party rally in Parliament Square, organised by...

Ian Blackford - the Commons leader of the SNP - wants a general election and believe it is in the best interest of his party. But he will refuse to do it on Mr Johnson's terms because he feels it is a political tactic from the Prime Minister.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said: "This is a man who has taken three Privy Councillors, gone to see the Queen and is shutting down Parliament for five weeks. Why would we trust him? There's not one reason why we should do so. We'll determine the timing of [the next general election], not Boris Johnson."

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon added to Mr Blackford's comments. On Twitter, she said: "An early General Election is now a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ - but Johnson mustn’t be allowed to dictate the timing as a device to avoid scrutiny and force through a ‘no deal’ Brexit."

Liz Saville-Roberts: Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts speaks to thousands of pro-EU demonstrators gathered for a cross-party rally in Parliament Square, organised by the People's Vote Campaign on 04...

Plaid Cymru's Commons leader Liz Saville-Roberts has joined the opposition to an early general election. The MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd said the country has a chance "bring down" and "break" the Prime Minister.

In an interview (quotes via The Guardian), Ms Saville-Roberts said: “We need to make sure that we get past 31 October, and an extension to article 50. We were in agreement that the Prime Minister is on the run. Boris is broken. We have an opportunity to bring down Boris, to break Boris, and to bring down Brexit – and we must take that."

Jonathan Bartley: Greens

Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley delivers his speech during the Green Party Spring conference held at the Scarborough Spa Complex on June 08, 2019 in Scarborough, England. Around 600...

Quoting Ms Saville-Roberts' interview on Twitter, Green Party joint-leader Jonathan Bartley threw his support behind the plan to reject an early general election. He said: "If Johnson is treating this like a game then he is on the mother of all losing streaks. Great to see Opposition parties united in the best interests of the country."

Former Green leader Caroline Lucas has also been vocal in her opposition to Mr Johnson's plan. Speaking in the House of Commons, the MP for Brighton Pavilion said: "The Prime Minister can own his own horrendous mess because he is trying to smuggle out this no-deal Brexit during an election campaign and that is what makes it so vital that no election happens before there is an extension of Article 50, before it is agreed and - crucially - before it is implemented."

Have something to tell us about this article?