JOHN BERCOW was nearly blocked from leaving his seat as Remainers attempted to sensationally block the proroguing of Parliament. Sarah Clarke, the Lady Usher of the Black Rod, invited MPs to the House of Lords to formerly attend the ceremony closing the Parliamentary session. A scuffle then broke out with one MP appearing to fall on the floor. Labour Co-op MP Alex Sobel tweeted: “The action taken by myself and other members to beseech Mr Speaker to not accede to Black Rod’s request echoes the action of members to try and prevent the speaker proroguing at the request of Charles I. “Unfortunately we couldn’t pass any motions against Boris Johnson’s policies.”
John Bercow is set to become the first Speaker in 230 years not to be offered a peerage when he quits next month. Yesterday he announced he will finally stand down on October 31 – more than a year later than he promised he would. But Boris Johnson is planning to exact revenge on Mr Bercow for his ‘bias’ over Brexit by denying him a seat in the Lords. Allies of the Prime Minister said he would rip up the convention that Commons Speakers are automatically elevated to the upper chamber when they resign, in the same way Mr Bercow repeatedly ignored parliamentary precedent when dealing with Brexit. A government source said: ‘No one in this Government will be rushing to give Bercow a peerage.
Commons Speaker John Bercow was snubbed today by Tory MPs who refused to applaud as he announced plans to step down next month. Mr Bercow, who has spent a decade as Speaker, announced his decision to quit by the October 31 Brexit deadline in an impassioned speech to MPs on Monday. He described his position as “the greatest privilege of my professional life”. He also made a heartfelt tribute to his family during the announcement as his wife, Sally, watched from the Commons gallery. The emotional speech received a mixed response, however, with most Tory MPs refusing to join Labour counterparts in giving him a standing ovation.
ANGRY Tory Brexiteers have slammed ‘biased’ John Bercow as “nauseating” after the Speaker broke down in tears as he announced he was quitting. A scuffle broke out around Bercow’s chair as Labour MPs tried to hold on to the Speaker and held placards reading ‘silenced’ as parliament was suspended in the early hours of this morning. Remainer Bercow – known for his eccentric outbursts in the Commons – choked up when he told the chamber he will resign as a Tory MP if Boris Johnson gets a national poll. But while Bercow was treated to a long drawn out goodbye today – with MPs falling over themselves to pay tribute – there were few tears shed at No10.
John Bercow, the man who used the office of Speaker to frustrate Brexit, has been accused of “gaming the system” to ensure his successor is chosen by a Remain-backing Parliament. Mr Bercow will stand down on Oct 31 – the day Britain is due to leave the EU – meaning the next Speaker will be chosen by the current crop of MPs, of whom more than two thirds voted Remain. Brexiteers reacted with fury, saying Mr Bercow had once again demeaned the supposedly impartial role of Speaker in order to stamp his own personal politics on the nation’s future. Mr Bercow was also accused of arrogance after suggesting that if he had waited until the next election to stand down, newly-elected MPs would not be “informed” enough to make the right choice.
John Bercow has dramatically announced that he will stand down as Commons Speaker within weeks, sparking a race among MPs to take over the crucial position. In an emotional speech, he told MPs he would resign on Monday night in the unlikely event they voted for an early general election. If, as expected, they do not support an early election, he will stand aside on 31 October. MPs expected to stand for the post include the deputy speakers Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Eleanor Laing, Labour veterans Harriet Harman, Meg Hillier and Chris Bryant, and the Tory MP Sir Henry Bellingham. The proposed timing for Bercow’s departure will be seen as a passing shot at his Brexiter critics because it could improve the chances of a remain-supporting MP succeeding him. It also ensures that he is expected to still be in post during the remaining momentous weeks in the run-up to Halloween, when Boris Johnson has promised Britain will leave the EU.
John Bercow is regarded by many as a reforming Speaker – having used his decade in the famous green chair to champion backbenchers holding the government to account. However, he has also been deeply embroiled in controversy over his expenses, temper, and more recently handling of Brexit. Mr Bercow’s Speakership got off to a rocky start when the taxpayer funded an overhaul of his opulent grace-and-favour apartment at Westminster. In 2012, he refused to follow the example of Gordon Brown and David Cameron who gave up the gold-plated non-contributory pension traditionally granted to former PMs and Speakers.
John Bercow will stand down as Speaker of the House of Commons on the day that Britain is due to leave the European Union. In an emotional statement punctuated by bursts of applause, Mr Bercow told MPs yesterday that he would go within weeks. He said that if an election did not take place before October 31, the deadline for the UK to leave the EU, he would stand down at the end of Commons business on that day. If an early election was called he would stand down when parliament was dissolved.
Boris Johnson’s last-ditch attempt to force a General Election in Parliament in the hours before it was suspended has failed. The Government had the support of 293 MPs, 141 shy of the 434 needed to pass a motion for a General Election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. The vote followed a heated debate in the Commons that finished shortly before 12.30am. The Prime Minister said Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, had done his “level best to wreck this country’s chances of a successful negotiation” by backing what he called a “Surrender Bill” that would require the Government to seek an extension to Article 50.
MPs have once again rejected Boris Johnson’s demand for a snap general election next month. In late-night proceedings, the House of Commons voted by 293 to 46 in favour of the prime minister’s motion calling for an early election on 15 October. However, under law, Mr Johnson required the support of 434 MPs – two-thirds of all 650 – in order to send the country to the polls. His failure to reach the threshold, due to the united efforts of opposition parties to thwart his request, means there will now be no general election before the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU on 31 October.
Boris Johnson’s second bid for an election has been rejected by MPs in another defeat for the PM. His motion calling for a general election was defeated – after an identical motion was rejected by the House of Commons just five days ago. He required 2/3rds of MPs to back his motion – but only 293 MPs voted for the motion, with 46 voting against and a large number abstaining. It leaves Mr Johnson on the hunt for a way out of his Brexit crisis after MPs again blocked his plans. The Prime Minister will now suspend Parliament for five weeks leaving MPs unable to hold him to account over the emergency.
The next general election will not take place before the Brexit deadline of October 31 after Boris Johnson pushed ahead with his historic suspension of parliament yesterday. The longest parliamentary session in modern history closed at the end of the sitting early today, removing any possibility that voters would be called to the polls next month. Opposition MPs and Tory rebels rejected for a second time the prime minister’s call for an October 15 election, insisting that a law blocking a no-deal Brexit must take effect first. Amid mass abstentions, 293 MPs backed the prime minister’s motion for a snap election and 46 opposed it.
The United Kingdom will not face fresh national elections in the short term after Parliament voted against submitting itself to the approval or otherwise of the British people for the second time, as the Prime Minister insisted he would not permit another Brexit extension and the longest Parliament in modern history was finally suspended. In an eventful Parliamentary day, the last in this session before a fix week break into mid-October, Boris Johnson’s minority government failed for the second time to have itself dissolved for fresh election. While the Parliamentary arithmetic has rendered the government unable to govern making in ordinary constitutional times snap elections essential, the opposition appears to be weaponising the chaos, preventing a vote to force through a Brexit delay leading to a cancellation.
Boris Johnson shut down Parliament for five weeks today amid chaotic scenes, after humiliatingly losing his latest bid to trigger a snap election. The PM accused ‘yellow belly’ Jeremy Corbyn and Remainers of ‘conniving to delay Brexit’ – jibing that they ‘can’t hide forever’ from the people’s verdict. After the result in the early hours of the morning, he vowed that he will defy the ‘device’ of the new Remainer law against No Deal and stick to his ‘do or die’ vow to get the UK out by October 31. Mr Johnson said opposition parties had decided they ‘know better’ than the public. He insisted he would go to an EU summit on October 17 and ‘strive to get an agreement in the national interest… this government will not delay Brexit any further’.
Boris Johnson has lost his second attempt to trigger an early general election in his sixth humiliating Commons defeat since becoming prime minister. Ahead of parliament being suspended by the government for five weeks, MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit again deprived the prime minister of the required votes for an early poll in the last major showdown of the current session. Less than a week after his first bid to seek an election was scuppered, Mr Johnson again asked the Commons to vote on a motion to bypass a law setting out that the next vote should not take place until 2022.
Labour is considering a bid to topple Boris Johnson on October 22 after ordering its MPs to vote down the Queen’s Speech the day beforehand, The Telegraph understands. With Parliament now prorogued for five weeks, allies of Jeremy Corbyn are now focusing their efforts on bringing down the Government when MPs return next month. Under plans being considered by Mr Corbyn’s inner circle, Labour could table a confidence vote 24 hours after the Commons holds a series of votes on the Government’s legislative programme. Labour had previously indicated that a confidence vote could be tabled later this week, but has now been denied the opportunity due to Parliament being shut down.
Jeremy Corbyn will accuse Boris Johnson later of hijacking the 2016 EU referendum result to shift even more power and wealth to those at the top. He will tell the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference in Brighton that a no-deal Brexit would drive down rights and protections for workers. The Labour leader is also set to have private discussions on his party’s Brexit policy for a general election. It comes after MPs rejected a second attempt by the PM to call an election. Parliament is now suspended for five weeks, until the Queen’s Speech on 14 October. The shut down comes after royal assent was granted to a new law which will force the PM to seek a Brexit delay to 31 January 2020 unless a deal – or a no-deal exit – is approved by MPs by 19 October.
The Liberal Democrats are poised to campaign to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 to allow the UK to remain in the European Union, party leader Jo Swinson has said. The proposal will be voted on by party members at the Lib Dem annual conference which starts on Saturday in Bournemouth. Ms Swinson said: “The Liberal Democrats are fully behind a People’s Vote with the option to remain, and we would campaign to stay in. “We believe this is the best way to resolve the Brexit mess, and it is in the country’s best interest. However, a general election may well happen before a People’s Vote. “I relish the chance to take the fight to Boris Johnson in an election, and I’m confident we’d make significant gains.
The Liberal Democrats are set to officially back revoking article 50 in an attempt to position themselves as the most pro-EU political party. The move would effectively sever the chances of an alliance with Labour at a forthcoming general election. The Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, said she would support the cancellation of Brexit, and the party expected to adopt this policy and write it into its election manifesto. “I relish the chance to take the fight to Boris Johnson in an election and I’m confident we’d make significant gains,” said Swinson, who was elected as the party’s first female leader in July.
Boris Johnson yesterday hinted that he could sign up to a watered down version of the controversial Irish backstop as government sources suggested that he planned to use the next five weeks to renew efforts to find a deal. Mr Johnson, speaking on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin alongside Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said that a no-deal Brexit would be a “failure of statecraft”. He added that both sides needed to “find a way to ensure the UK is not kept locked in the backstop arrangement and there’s a way out for the UK”.
Boris Johnson’s future as PM may hinge on whether he can avoid having to request a three-month extension, as required by legislation passed by a majority in Parliament. As this newspaper has reported, the Tory leader has drawn up plans to “sabotage” any Brexit extension by “send[ing] an accompanying letter alongside the request to extend Article 50 setting out that the Government does not want any delay after October 31”. The EU will require the UK to “indicate a way forward” as a condition to granting an extension. Therefore, the UK hopes Brussels will automatically reject London’s “request”, if it deliberately fails to present a concrete reason for the extension.
The British government has still failed to present any alternative to the Irish backstop in Brexit talks, the EU has said – amid warnings that the bloc is running out of patience with the UK. A spokesperson for the European Commission told reporters in Brussels on Monday afternoon that the British government had not suggested how any replacement could actually work. “At a point enough is enough,” Dutch trade minister Sigrid Kaag told newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. “At that stage the certainty of deterioration might be better than continuing without perspective. At a certain point there must be clarity. A good reason is needed for a new delay.
IRISH politician Phil Hogan is likely to be chosen as the EU’s top trade negotiator this week and the appointment could prove disastrous for the UK as Mr Hagan would hold all the cards in future trade talks with Britain. Ursula von der Leyen, who will replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President in November, will announce details of the 27 people nominated to her top team on Tuesday. The list is set to include Irish European commissioner Phil Hogan to the powerful trade portfolio in a significant snub to the UK. The appointment would ensure Mr Hogan is responsible for overseeing any negotiations with the UK on a future trade deal – if Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.
European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen finalized a list Monday of the people she wants working with her when she takes the helm of the European Union’s executive branch in November. Von der Leyen’s proposed appointments will give the European Commission 27 members, including her – 14 men and 13 women. The commission proposes EU laws and ensures they are put into practice throughout the 28-country bloc. Her team was based on recommendations from member nations. The proposed commissioners must be approved by the European Parliament – generally a formality – then appointed by the European Council. Under EU rules, the commission should have 28 members, including the president, one representing each EU member country.
Policing is in crisis and officers are no longer able to deliver the service the public expects, a senior officer said as he gave his backing for an independent strategic review. Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, head of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA), told The Times that officers across the country were under unprecedented pressure. He lent his support to a new root-and-branch review of the state of policing in the UK, which will be carried out by Sir Michael Barber, a former adviser to Tony Blair, with the support of police chiefs and public bodies including the Cabinet Office, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
British Airways check-in desks were deserted yesterday as a 48-hour pilot strike grounded almost 1,700 flights. Terminal 5 at Heathrow, BA’s main base in Britain, was a ghost town after pilots refused to fly in a row over pay. The strike, the first by pilots in the company’s history, led to the cancellation of almost all its flights yesterday and the same is expected today. BA said it was also expecting several dozen cancellations tomorrow because of operational problems caused by aircraft and crews in the wrong places. Passengers had been told not to go to airports.
British Airways flights were crippled on Monday as pilots launched a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay. Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) are taking their first ever industrial action against the airline, grounding hundreds of flights. The airline has spent weeks offering refunds to passengers or the option to re-book to another date of travel or an alternative airline. The airline operates up to 850 flights a day, with most expected to be cancelled, affecting up to 195,000 passengers.