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Johnson loses Commons vote to hold December election as Labour MPs abstain

Johnson said he would table another proposal for a December election tomorrow.

Johnson tabled the proposal in the House of Commons this evening.
Johnson tabled the proposal in the House of Commons this evening.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Oct 28th 2019, 7:29 PM

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has lost a motion before the House of Commons to hold a general election on 12 December.

The motion saw 299 MPs in favour and 70 MPs against the prime minister’s proposal.

The Labour Party abstained from voting and as the proposal did not secure a two-thirds majority required, it was lost. 

However, Johnson told MPs that he would be “giving notice for the presentation of a short bill for an election on 12 December” to Parliament tomorrow. 

 “I simply do not believe that this house is capable of delivering on the priorities of the people, whether that is Brexit or anything else,” he said.

“Last Tuesday, we briefly allowed hope to bloom in our hearts when for the first time in three-and-a-half years parliament voted for this country to leave the EU,” Johnson old the chamber.”

‘Flextension’

This morning, EU Council president Donald Tusk agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020.

Some leaders, most notably Emmanuel Macron of France, had been pushing a shorter extension to allow Johnson pass the recently revised Brexit deal through the House of Commons.

The EU leaders have now agreed to a so-called ‘flextension’ to the end of January 2020. The UK can leave the bloc earlier if the House of Commons and the European Parliament ratify the Withdrawal Agreement before then.

In a letter to Tusk which was published this evening, Johnson said “I must make clear my view that this unwanted prolongation of the UK’s membership of he EU is damaging to our democracy and to the relationship between us and our European friends.”

letter to tusk Source: Downing Street

“I would have much preferred it if the UK Parliament could have proceeded rapidly to ratify the deal we reached between us. Unfortunately, I very much fear that this Parliament will never do so as long as it has the option of further delay,” he said.

“That is why I am seeking a General Election in December to ensure the election of a fresh parliament which is capable of resolving the issue in accordance with out constitutional norms.”

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