Boris Johnson has given MPs an ultimatum of backing a pre-Christmas general election to get more time to scrutinise his Brexit deal - prompting a fiery debate from politicians in Cumbria.

The Prime Minister will ask the Commons to vote on a motion for a December 12 poll on Monday, and would attempt to pass his deal by November 6 before dissolving Parliament for the campaign.

It comes as Brussels looks set to grant a fresh Brexit delay until the end of January after Mr Johnson was forced - under the terms of the so-called Benn Act - to request a further extension.

However, last night Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would not back a general election until a no-deal Brexit is ‘off the table’.

If MPs vote to hold a general election on December 12, it would be the first time in nearly 100 years that the country has gone to the polls so close to Christmas.

Workington Labour MP Sue Hayman said Johnson’s call for an election was a smokescreen to try to hide the fact he has failed to deliver Brexit by 31 October as promised.

“Another childish publicity stunt. Parliament should always have sufficient time to debate legislation properly; it’s not something to be haggled over.

“But he doesn’t want Parliament to look at his Brexit bill because he knows it’s bad for Britain and Parliament would amend it.

“He is calling for an election now just to stop MPs changing it.

“Last weekend it was so urgent that Parliament sat on Saturday, now Johnson won’t even let Parliament discuss it.

“It’s time to get Brexit done; bring the bill to Parliament so we can just get on with it.”

Trudy Harrison, Tory MP for Copeland, added: “We cannot continue to have a UK Government unable to deliver on its National priorities.

“Nor can we continue to delay and dither on the biggest decision that has been taken by the public in peacetime history.

“Labour have consistently said they want an election, time after time again, even calling for a General Strike to force the opportunity.

“Yet twice in the last month they have voted against giving the electorate the choice.

“Democracy is suffering potentially irreparable damage on a daily basis, this is the worst form of politics when the interests of the people are being scuppered for tactical game playing.

“I’m in no way advocating my success in Copeland, that would be sheer arrogance, but I will vote in Parliament to give my community to the chance to decide.”

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, believes the PM is deliberately sitting on the withdrawal bill.