July 25, 2019 / 7:24 AM / 2 months ago

UK election? Impossible to say, former Conservative leader Duncan Smith says

Member of the Parliament Iain Duncan Smith arrives at a private reception attended by Boris Johnson, leader of the Britain's Conservative Party, in central London, Britain July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - It is impossible to say whether there will be an early election in Britain but new Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be preparing for one, former UK Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said on Thursday.

Johnson took office on Wednesday with a promise to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31 “no ifs or buts”. Parliament has vowed to try and block a no-deal Brexit and could ultimately try and collapse the government.

Asked by BBC Radio whether it was inevitable the government would now have to call an election, Duncan Smith said: “It is impossible to say whether we will or we won’t, what I do know is any government worth its salt will prepare for that eventuality but the truth is I doubt whether my party will call for an election prior to the 31st.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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