Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated his party’s plans to introduce a “War Powers Act”, curtailing the power of a prime minister from launching air strikes on foreign countries without the consent of MPs.
“Currently the prime minister has the power under the royal prerogative to launch military action without recourse to parliament,” he said.
“Boris Johnson – a prime minister without a majority – has talked about sending troops to Saudi Arabia to confront Iran: another disaster in the making.
“I will be a very different kind of prime minister, one who is prepare to limit my own power in the public interest. So that’s why a Labour government will introduce a War Powers Bill to ensure no prime minister can bypass parliament to take the country to war.”
Speaking in Northampton, the Labour leader also accused the prime minister of “using the Queen” for a pre-election Conservative Party broadcast ahead of the state opening of parliament on Monday.
In his first major address since the party’s annual conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn added that he will back a general election once it is clear a no-deal Brexit has been avoided on 31 October.
He denied that his party was avoiding an election – a claim repeatedly made by Mr Johnson – the Labour leader said he did not trust the prime minister not to force through a no-deal during an election campaign.
“Prime minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form,” he said.
“So it’s simple: obey the law, take no-deal off the table and then let’s have the election.”
Mr Corbyn also reiterated his party’s promise to hold a second referendum within six months of a Labour government, adding: “As prime minister I will carry out whatever the people decide”.
He continued: “That referendum won’t be a re-run of 2016 – this time the choice will be between leaving with a sensible deal or remaining in the European Union.”