Boris Johnson Fails In Attempt To Get Early General Election

4 September 2019, 17:22 | Updated: 4 September 2019, 21:39

MPs in the UK House of Commons
MPs in the UK House of Commons. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson's call for an early general election has failed to achieve the support of two-thirds of MPs needed under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

MPs have voted by 298 to 56 to stage a poll in October.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson said "there must now be an election on Tuesday October 15" after legislation designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit cleared the Commons.

Earlier, the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy suffered a major setback in Parliament.

Legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October has cleared the House of Commons and is expected to appear before the Lords after MPs gave it a third reading by 327 votes to 299, with a majority of 28.

It'll now be voted on in the House of Lords.

Boris Johnson says it "hands control" to Brussels and means the country needs one thing.

Earlier on Wednesday, legislation designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31 has cleared its first Commons hurdle after MPs gave it a second reading by 329 votes to 300, majority 29.

Some 21 Tory MPs, including former chancellors Kenneth Clarke and Philip Hammond, had the whip removed on Tuesday after voting for a measure to allow the cross-party alliance to seize control of the Commons order paper.

But while that Commons vote was treated as an effective confidence motion, the proceedings on the timetable for the Bill if it reaches the Lords will not - although Tories will be "expected to support the Government" in opposing it.

A Downing Street source said: "The Government will strongly oppose the Opposition's business of the House motion in the Lords.

"Conservative peers are whipped to do the same and are expected to support the Government front bench."

MPs seized control of today's parliamentary agenda last night - a vote in which 21 Conservatives lost their places in the party for defying the government.

Boris Johnson has called the proposal to block no-deal a "surrender Bill" which would "wreck any chance" of getting a new agreement.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tonight told MPs that Labour will support a motion for a general election as soon as the Bill to stop No Deal becomes law.

Speaking after parliament voted through the first stages of legislation to rule out a No Deal Brexit, the Labour leader said: “I repeat what I said last night, Mr Speaker: Let this Bill pass and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election.”

Earlier, introducing the EU Withdrawal (No. 6) Bill, which seeks to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal in October, Labour MP Hilary Benn said: "I think wherever we stand on this issue, we know there is very little time left and, following the decision on prorogation, there is even less time than would have been available previously."

Mr Benn (Leeds Central) noted strong feelings on both sides in the Chamber, and appealed to MPs to "treat each other with respect" during the debate.

He added: "The purpose of the Bill is very simple. It is to ensure that the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union on October 31 without an agreement.

He said the Bill has "wide cross-party support", including from former senior Cabinet members.