September 4, 2019
Nice try, Boris.
Tory rebels and opposition MPs have defeated the government in the first stage of their attempt to pass a law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, meaning they can bring forward a bill seeking to delay the UK’s exit date.
In response, Boris Johnson said he would bring forward a motion for an early general election.
Jeremy Corbyn said the bill should be passed before an election was held.
In total, 21 Tory MPs, including a number of ex-cabinet ministers, joined opposition parties to defeat the government.
After the vote, Downing Street said those Tory MPs who rebelled would have the whip removed, effectively expelling them from the parliamentary party.
No 10 had hoped the threat of expulsion – and an election – would bring would-be rebels into line.
The longest-serving of the Tory rebels, ex-chancellor Ken Clarke, told BBC Newsnight he was still “a mainstream Conservative” but he didn’t recognise his party any more.
The “knockabout character” of the prime minister had “the most right-wing cabinet a Conservative government has ever produced”, he said.
These people are all such shills, it’s just incredible.
The people voted for the thing in a literal referendum, and they are saying “no, forget the people – we’re doing this other thing!”
What I will say is that Boris does actually appear to be genuinely trying, something I didn’t really expect.
Although this could actually just be another hoax – a thing where he’s set up to fail on purpose, in the same way Theresa May was.
Whatever the case – it’s not happening.