JEREMY Corbyn has insisted he is ready to fight a general election after concerns were raised that a move to trigger a poll by Boris Johnson could be a cunning ploy to force through a no-deal Brexit.

The Labour leader expressed his confidence that MPs would this week deal the Prime Minister a major blow by passing legislation to block a deal-less departure from the EU on Hallowe’en. The so-called Rebel Alliance have produced legislation to push Brexit Day back to January 31 2020.

Critics of Mr Johnson have raised fears that an election mooted for October 14 if opponents win this week's parliamentary showdown could be a sly move to delay the date and force a no-deal.

But Mr Corbyn confirmed he has sought legal advice; it is understood the party is confident there are mechanisms to prevent the election date being shifted.

Following more cross-party talks with no-deal opponents Mr Corbyn said he "fully expects" the legislation would be passed this week.

He stressed the Brexit extension legislation was "the priority" when asked if Labour was ready to support a vote for a general election under any circumstance.

The Labour leader said: “We want a general election, as do all the other parties. The priority is to prevent a no-deal exit from the EU on the 31st and we will see what comes after that."

Pressed for clarity, he said: "Let's see what happens after this legislation has gone through and if an election is called. I'm absolutely ready to fight it."

His comments came as Labour MPs prepared for a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting at 6pm, where Mr Corbyn will speak. Sources suggested a “change” was expected on the party’s approach to an early election.

Although dismissed by Downing St insiders as "tinfoil hat stuff", Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, was among those urging caution over the possibility the PM could shift the election date.

"If he wants a general election to ram through what I believe is a disastrous no-deal Brexit which will lead to medicine shortages, food shortages, chaos for people at the borders, then we are not prepared to endorse that trick," declared Mr Ashworth. “The problem is that trust is so low in Boris Johnson that nobody quite believes him," he added.

Earlier, Shami Chakrabarti, the Shadow Attorney General, suggested the “sequencing” had to be right.

"We've got to get a locked-in guarantee that Britain would not crash out of the EU in an election campaign period," declared the Labour peer.

"We've also got to try as best as possible to ensure that it wouldn't be possible for the sitting, squatting Prime Minister in this period to set a general election and then change the date. The priority this morning is preventing this no-deal crash out.

"Then of course if we get the sequencing right and we can get sufficient support across the house we live and breathe for a general election."

Last night, Tony Lloyd, the Shadow Northern Ireland spokesman, told BBC Two’s Newsnight, that his party was not "daft enough" to fall for the PM’s tactic, which he said was "designed to land us with a no-deal Brexit".

“Will we fall for Boris Johnson’s trick? No we won’t. Boris Johnson is a man who has got form for reneging on his promises."

The MP for Rochdale went on: “We will not have Boris Johnson dictating the terms of an election, which crashes this country out with a no-deal Brexit. We will in fact work through the parliamentary process to make sure that this[extension] law is passed.

“Obviously, once we can guarantee that we pass October 31 and don’t have a no-deal Brexit, of course we want an election,” he added.

His Labour colleague Mary Creagh agreed, saying: “We are all ready for a general election. We’re all ready to see the back of the Conservatives and their austerity agenda.

“But, as Tony rightly says, we’re not going to agree to one when there is the threat of a no-deal Brexit hanging over the country.”

Mr Corbyn said there was "a very good discussion" during the cross-party talks attended by fellow opposition party leaders, including Ian Blackford for the SNP, Jo Swinson for the Liberal Democrats and Anna Soubry for the Independent Group for Change.

Mr Blackford hailed the meeting as "another vital and productive step in working together to prevent this rogue Tory Government from inflicting lasting harm".

Meanwhile, the Labour leader declined to set a date for a no-confidence vote in the Government if the no-deal legislation failed. "I will choose a time but you will know soon enough," he said.