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Jeremy Corbyn will spend four-days in Ghana on a fact-finding tour of the west African country, and is expected to meet President Nana Akufo-Addo. His trip is being funded by the Labour Party and will also see him meet other senior Government members, in addition to the President, MailOnline has reported.
But the strange timing of the trip coincides with Mr Corbyn desperately trying to win majority support in Parliament to become caretaker Prime Minister and block a no deal Brexit from happening on October 31.
He plans to table a vote of no confidence in the Government when Parliament returns from summer recess on September 3, but to win that, he needs cross-party support.
Mr Corbyn wrote to opposition political parties and Tory rebels strongly against a no deal Brexit last week in a desperate attempt to rally enough support.
But his plan has already hit the buffers, with several already publicly declaring they will not be backing the Labour leader.
Mr Corbyn’s plans for next week’s trip to Ghana when he should be continuing his drive for cross-party support has infuriated his party colleagues.
One Labour MP said: “It would help matters if the party leader wasn’t going abroad at such a time but what would help most is if he wasn’t Labour leader.’
“People in his own party don’t trust him so what chance is there of people in other parties backing him.”
Ghanian President Mr Akufo-Addo came into power in 2016 and met the Labour leader in April 2018 prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings.
In a tweet at the time, Mr Corbyn said they discussed the rights of Commonwealth citizens in the UK, trade after Brexit, reform of the Commonwealth and UN, the role of the African Union and US forces in Africa.
Last week, the Labour leader wrote to the party leaders of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and backbench Tory MP to ask for their backing in a bid to halt Boris Johnson taking the UK out of the EU without a Brexit deal in place.
He wrote: “This Government has no mandate for no deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for no deal.
“I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success.
“Following a successful vote of no confidence in the Government, I would then, as Leader of the Opposition, seek the confidence of the house for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.”
Mr Corbyn insisted Labour would campaign in a resulting general election for a second referendum on EU membership with the option to Remain being available to voters.
But his plans has already encountered huge opposition after being rejected by the Liberal Democrats and anti-no deal alliance MPs, including senior politicians such as former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who he would need support from to form an emergency Government.
Mr Grieve has warned he could vote against the Government in a confidence vote but insisted he would never help Mr Corbyn into power at 10 Downing Street.
He said: “Jeremy Corbyn is unfortunately a deeply divisive figure and in trying to stop a no deal Brexit it is not my purpose to help him into Downing Street.”
Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That appears to be his agenda, I have to say it is not one I personally share.
“I don’t think it’s at all likely that a majority would be formed for that and I personally wouldn’t want to vote for it.
“I wouldn’t be able to support that, no.”
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also rejected the plan, and warned Mr Corbyn would not be able to gain enough Conservative Party support or even votes from former Labour MPs sitting as independents.
She has proposed Parliamentary veterans Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman as “neutral” figures who could lead a temporary Government.