JEREMY Corbyn has been challenged to put his money where his mouth is after he tabled a non-binding motion of no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister but not, crucially, in the UK Government.

Corbyn’s shambolic move, which was dismissed by his critics as a “shoddy stunt”, left the door open for the UK Government to simply refuse to schedule time to debate the motion during Commons business.

Late last night, it predictably did just that – saying it would not be drawn into “silly political games” and challenging the Labour leader to submit a full vote of no confidence in the government.

The wording of the motion, targeted at May rather than the government as a whole, would not trigger the process set out under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which could eventually lead to a General Election.

Such a motion against the government would automatically be allocated time for debate in the Commons.

There was further drama late last night as the other opposition parties, led by the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford, tabled an amendment to Corbyn’s original motion that would upgrade it to a full vote of no confidence in the government.

It was unclear as we went to press whether Labour would the accept the amendment, which was also backed by the LibDems, Plaid Cmyru and the Greens.

“Labour’s motion was a gimmick – it has been left to the real opposition to step in and strengthen it to hold the whole UK Government to account,” Blackford said.

“It is clear the Prime Minister’s tactic has been to run down the clock and deprive Parliament of any alternative to her deal. Jeremy Corbyn seems happy to let her – presumably to avoid having to make a decision on a second EU referendum. If the official opposition won’t do its job, the real opposition will. Labour now must accept our amendment.”

Amid scenes of confusion at Westminster, Corbyn announced he was tabling his motion just hours after Labour were claiming they had achieved a victory in forcing May to set a date for a meaningful vote.

May told MPs the matter would return to the Commons for the crucial vote during the week beginning January 14 – leading to suggestions the Labour vote was off. Downing Street was forced to deny claims it had made a late change under

Labour pressure as “sadly incorrect”. A source said a copy of May’s statement was sent to the opposition at 3pm, “give or take”, under the terms of an existing agreement, which contained the “already-agreed decision” to hold the vote in the second week after Parliament returned from the Christmas recess.

The source insisted the statement was not sent late to Labour, adding: “It was a copy of the statement drafted well in advance of that briefing [on the confidence motion] from the leader of the opposition’s office

becoming public, and the statement sent to him reflected an already-drafted and already-agreed decision.”

Corbyn, in his initial response to the PM’s statement, claimed she had “been dragged kicking and screaming to announce a date to restart the debate” and did not table the motion.

At 5.17pm he tweeted similar sentiments along with a video of their Commons exchange, but around 35 minutes later he was back on his feet to announce the motion would be tabled after all.

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Corbyn said: “As the only way I can think of ensuring a vote takes place this week, I’m about to table a motion which says the following: ‘That this House has no confidence in the Prime Minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away on the Withdrawal Agreement and framework for future relationships between the UK and European Union’. That will be tabled immediately, Mr Speaker.”

Before the Labour motion was tabled, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attacked the situation in Westminster as “woeful”.

She said on Twitter: “This shambles of a government is driving the UK towards disaster, and the official opposition seems content to just stand back and watch.”

She later added: “Labour tabling a motion just on the PM rather than on the entire government begs the question, which Tory do they want to see as PM?”

Labour insisted it was clearly a confidence motion and should be allocated time for debate by the Government. But the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard said it was a “shoddy stunt”.

“Shocking by Corbyn just now,” he tweeted. “They know a motion of no confidence in PM means nothing – it has to be a motion if no confidence in the government to have any effect. This is a shoddy stunt.”

A Commons spokesman said: “By established convention the government always accedes to the demand from the leader of the opposition to allot a day for the discussion of a motion tabled by the official opposition which, in the government’s view, would have the effect of testing the confidence of the House.

“It will be for the Government to determine whether to schedule time for debate on this.”