September 3, 2019 / 11:08 AM / 6 months ago

Johnson will not change any new election date - spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the media outside Downing Street in London, Britain, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson would hold any new election before a summit of EU leaders on Oct. 17, his spokesman said on Tuesday, denying opposition suggestions he would try to stage a poll after Britain leaves the European Union.

Johnson has said if he loses a vote for lawmakers to take control of parliamentary business to try to stop Britain from leaving the EU without a deal, he will seek a new national election rather than a further delay to Brexit.

Some opposition lawmakers say they fear he could set the election for Oct. 14 but then change the date for after Brexit is due on Oct. 31, allowing Britain to leave the bloc without a deal - a scenario many lawmakers oppose.

“The idea that polling day could be moved after the event and parliament has been dissolved is simply wrong, it’s not possible,” the spokesman said.

“We were clear that the election would have to be concluded before the European Council.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison

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