Jeremy Corbyn rules out forming a coalition government if he fails to win the next general election as John McDonnell suggests Labour will NEVER vote for a Brexit deal negotiated by Boris Johnson
- Labour leader said he would try to form a minority government if he falls short
- Mr Corbyn ruled out trying to form a coalition and said: 'I am not doing deals'
- Mr Corbyn rejected criticism of Brexit stance, said he is 'not sitting on the fence'
- Mr McDonnell suggested Labour will not back a Brexit deal negotiated by the PM
- He has also insisted the next leader of the Labour Party should be a woman
Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out forming a coalition government after the next general election should Labour fail to win an outright majority.
The Labour leader said he would try to rule in a minority government rather than agree to deals with other political parties.
He also defended his Brexit position and rejected accusations that he is 'sitting on the fence'.
Mr McDonnell said even if Mr Johnson resolved the controversy over the Irish border backstop there were plenty of other areas in the existing divorce agreement which fell far short of Labour's demands.
His comments represent a blow to the Prime Minister and make the path to getting a revised deal through the House of Commons much more difficult.
Mr McDonnell also appeared to rule himself out of replacing Mr Corbyn at the top of the party as he reportedly said the next leader should be a woman.
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured in London today, said he would try to form a minority government if he failed to win an outright majority at the next general election
Boris Johnson, pictured in Downing Street today, twice failed to force an early election earlier this month. Mr Corbyn said he will agree to a snap poll once a No Deal Brexit has been ruled out
Mr Johnson twice failed earlier this month to trigger an early general election as opposition leaders said they would only agree to a snap poll once a No Deal Brexit has been ruled out.
Mr Corbyn has said that if a Brexit delay is agreed with the EU to avoid a crash out split on October 31 then he will give Mr Johnson the numbers he needs to go to the country early.
The current volatile nature of British politics means that the outcome of such an election is far from certain.
But Mr Corbyn, speaking on the eve of Labour's annual conference in Brighton, said he would not enter into negotiations with other parties in order to form a government should he fall short of a majority.
He said that if there was a hung parliament Labour would seek to govern as a minority administration.
'We would go into government with whatever election result [there] was,' he told UTV.
'I am not doing deals. I am not doing coalitions.'
Mr Corbyn rejected the idea that Labour could offer the SNP a second referendum on Scottish independence in order to win its support at Westminster.
However, he refused to rule out such a vote taking place later in the parliament if there was a demand for one in Scotland.
Jeremy Corbyn 'now the most unpopular Opposition leader ever'
Jeremy Corbyn is the most unpopular Opposition leader ever, according to a new poll, as the Labour leader prepares to face an all-out Remainer rebellion at his party's annual conference.
The veteran left-winger's net rating of minus 60 is below that of his hero Michael Foot who led Labour to disaster in the early 1980s and whose hard-left 1983 general election manifesto was described as the 'longest suicide note in history'.
The latest Ipsos MORI survey found that just 16 per cent of voters are satisfied with Mr Corbyn's performance, compared to 76 per cent who are dissatisfied - giving him a net rating of minus 60.
Mr Corbyn's rating is the lowest ever recorded for an Opposition leader by the polling firm which started asking how satisfied people were with their political leaders in 1977.
He told Border TV: 'It is not our priority. It is not what I want, it is not what I support.
'But if after some years in government there is a demand, then in terms of the devolution settlement we will look at it at that time.'
Speaking on STV, he added: 'Obviously in the longer run, if a request is made... I am not going to be the one who stands in the way of that.'
His comments come after Mr McDonnell sparked a furious row over the summer after he suggested a Labour government would not stand in the way of a referendum if there was support for one in the Scottish Parliament.
Mr Corbyn said that he would press for a general election once it was clear that Mr Johnson could not force through a No Deal Brexit against the wishes of Parliament.
'When the Prime Minister abides by the law which Parliament has passed which requires him if he cannot get a deal to apply for an extension, I think that is the time,' he told ITV Anglia.
'What we won't do is to fall into some trap created by Boris Johnson which would lead us into a No Deal Brexit with all the chaos that would bring.'
Mr Corbyn also hit back at criticism of his latest Brexit position. He said earlier this week that if he becomes PM he would negotiate a new deal with Brussels and then put it to a second referendum against Remain.
However, he would stay neutral and would not back either option - a position which prompted senior Labour figures to warn the party will get 'steamrollered' if it fights an election with that policy.
John McDonnell, pictured earlier this month in Glasgow, today suggested Labour will never back a Brexit deal negotiated by Mr Johnson
Mr Corbyn told YTV he is 'not sitting on the fence' on Brexit and insisted it was 'not a muddled position'.
The Labour leader will face intense pressure from party activists in Brighton in the coming days to change tack and formally commit to campaign for Remain.
Mr McDonnell also set out his stall ahead of Labour's annual conference as he suggested his party would never back a Brexit deal negotiated by Mr Johnson.
He told The Mirror: 'Everyone is saying let's see what comes back.
'All the Tory media seem to be interested in is the Irish backstop, but there's a whole range of other stuff we wouldn't touch with a bargepole.'
Mr McDonnell said Labour would consider an agreement presented by Mr Johnson to MPs but added the 'reality is it's not going to be what we sought'.
'We're not going to allow him to do a deal which will basically allow him to sell the country out to Trump,' he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with The Times Mr McDonnell reportedly said the next Labour leader should be a woman as he appeared to rule himself out of trying to succeed Mr Corbyn.