Prime minister falls short of two-thirds parliamentary majority required to call snap poll
Boris Johnson could have secured a general election by supporting the Lib Dems’ bill for a vote on 9 December, the party’s leader, Jo Swinson, has said.
The prime minister has lost another vote in parliament. This latest attempt to force his bad Brexit bill through parliament has failed because this parliament simply does not trust him.
Boris Johnson claims he wants a general election, but he also claimed he wouldn’t prorogue parliament or put a border down the Irish sea.
If Boris Johnson wants a general election, then he could have supported our bill for a general election on 9 December. Instead, he has chosen to stick to his original plan for 12 December, which we have already rejected.
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Labour made suggestions it was poised to reject Johnson’s latest bid to get a pre-Christmas general election.
The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said the proposed 12 December vote would “disenfranchise” voters including students and cause voters “immense” difficulties getting to the polls. Asked if Labour would rule out a winter general election, he told Sky News:
I think it’s very unwise to be having a general election in the run-up to Christmas. If it comes, it comes. We will get on with it and we will take our proposals to the people. I doubt the wisdom of holding it at this time of year; it’s not a wise choice.
Updated at 7.52pm GMT
MPs will be asked to vote for the general election under the one-clause motion on Tuesday, the Press Association understands.
PM to press ahead with 12 December election plan, No 10 source says
A one-clause motion to amend the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) to call for a general election with the specific date of 12 December will be laid tonight, an unnamed Downing Street source has told the Press Association.
The source is also quoted as saying that the withdrawal agreement bill to implement Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – referred to as the WAB – will not be put back to MPs.
Tonight we are laying a one-clause motion to amend the FTPA and call an election with the named day of 12 December. The bill is very similar to the LD/SNP bill. The WAB will not be put back. This is the way to get Brexit done so the country can move on.
Updated at 7.51pm GMT
Only one Labour MP voted with the prime minister for a general election this evening: Kate Hoey. Johnson had the support of 280 of his Tory colleagues and 18 independents.
No Conservative MP voted against, though Ken Clarke – formerly of the party and now sitting as an independent – did vote ‘no’.
The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, told the Commons his party would support the prime minister’s new plan for a 12 December election if he gave a “cast-iron guarantee” he would not bring back the withdrawal agreement bill.
It is clear that there is a desire on the opposition benches to bring forward a bill that can give us an election. But we don’t trust this prime minister and we don’t trust this prime minister for good reason.
So, the prime minister, if he is going to bring forward a bill, must give an absolute cast-iron assurance that, up until the passage of that bill and the rising of parliament, that there will be no attempt to bring forward the withdrawal agreement bill.
Updated at 7.31pm GMTAdvertisement
Raising his point of order after belatedly entering the Commons, Corbyn told MPs:
I apologise to you and to the prime minister for not being here at the point when he raised his point of order, I was detained outside the chamber, I’m now back here.
I understand a bill will be tabled tomorrow. We will obviously look [at] and scrutinise that bill and we look forward to a clear, definitive decision that no deal is absolutely off the table and there is no danger of this prime minister not sticking to his word – because he has some form on these matters – and taking this country out of the EU without any deal whatsoever, knowing the damage it will do to jobs and industries all across this country.
The Labour MP Stephen Doughty says he was wrong when he suggested earlier that there were rumours that Boris Johnson could stand as a candidate in East Yorkshire, not in his current constituency, Uxbridge and South Ruislip. (See 5.42pm.) He says the Tory MP for East Yorkshire, Sir Greg Knight, has been readopted as a candidate. Doughty says he muddled the constituency up with another one.
That’s all from me for tonight.
My colleague Kevin Rawlinson is now taking over.Advertisement
Jeremy Corbyn says Labour will look at the bill and scrutinise it. He says Labour wants a definite statement about no deal being off the table. He says this must be clear, because the PM has “some form” for not keeping his word.
Johnson says he will table bill for an early election to take place on 12 December
Boris Johnson makes a point of order.
People will find Jeremy Corbyn’s stance “bewildering”.
Johnson says tonight the government will give notice of its plans for a short bill for a general election on Thursday 12 December.
- Johnson says he will legislate for an early election. A bill will not be subject to a super-majority, and with the Lib Dems and the SNP potentially supporting the government (although they want a different date), Johnson has a good chance of winning.
Source: The Guardian