MPs reject Boris Johnson’s bid for December 12 general election

Monday, October 28, 2019

Parliament has rejected Boris Johnson’s motion to hold an early general election on December 12, with 299 votes for, 70 votes against, with the Labour frontbench abstaining.

Despite the government gaining more votes than the opposition, abstentions meant that it failed to gain the two-thirds majority, 434 votes, to pass.

The Prime Minister has said the government will try again for Commons backing by presenting a short Bill to Parliament, which would only need a simple 51 per cent majority, or 320 votes, to pass.

He criticised Jeremy Corbyn for having abstained from the vote, saying “the leader of the opposition has literally and figuratively has run away from the judgement of the people for the third time.”

Mr Johnson added: “We will not allow this paralysis to continue … this House cannot any longer keep this country hostage”.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has already twice rejected calls for a snap poll, maintained his claim that the “Prime Minister cannot be trusted”.  

Pro-remain parties, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, have also offered a motion for a Bill to grant an election on December 9 – three days earlier than Mr Johnson’s proposed poll.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said their plan would leave “no wriggle room” for the Prime Minister.

It all comes after the EU announced today that it would grant a Brexit extension until the end of January 2020.

Mr Johnson pushed for the early election after he was forced to seek an extension when the House of Commons rejected the fast-tracked timetable for debating his Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Taking to the dispatch box to table the motion, the Prime Minister acknowledged that “nobody in this House relishes the idea of a general election” but insisted it was necessary to take the country to the polls because of the “widespread view that this Parliament has run its course”.

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