New mum MP Jo Swinson MP has accused the government of cheating in order to scrape through in a crucial Brexit vote this evening. The Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire is currently on maternity leave after giving birth last month so was unable to vote as the government squeaked a victory by just six votes. Tory chairman Brandon Lewis has been accused of breaking an agreement not to vote on the crucial Brexit legislation. The Conservative MP was “paired” with Lib Dem deputy leader Swinson meaning neither would take part in the Commons votes.
A senior Tory has apologised for breaking an agreement not to vote in key House of Commons votes so a Liberal Democrat MP could care for her newborn son. Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said sorry to Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson for reneging on a “pairing” deal on crunch Brexit votes on Tuesday night. Under House of Commons tradition, an MP from one party who is unable to attend a parliamentary vote can ask for a “pair” from another party, an agreement that sees one of their MPs also miss the vote.
An MP who is on maternity leave has accused the government of a breach of trust over a key House of Commons vote on Brexit. Lib Dem Jo Swinson was “paired” with Tory chairman Brandon Lewis so she could be at home with her baby son during the Trade Bill vote. This should mean neither MP votes so their absences cancel each other out. But Mr Lewis did vote with the government – he has since apologised for an “honest mistake” by whips. The Tory chief whip also apologised.
Theresa May saw off a damaging Commons rebellion on Tuesday as Conservative remainers lost a high-stakes vote on the customs union, giving the prime minister some much-needed breathing space on Brexit before the summer break. She avoided all-out Tory civil war and the wrath of the Eurosceptic wing of her party, which had threatened to launch a leadership challenge, when MPs defeated the proposal by six votes. However, minutes earlier, May suffered her second ever Brexit defeat when the Commons, in an unexpected move, backed calls for the UK to remain under EU medicines regulation.
Theresa May’s government was saved by a handful of Labour Eurosceptics as they joined forces to defeat a vote to keep Britain tied to the EU. Amid dramatic scenes in the Commons, a dozen Tory Remainers defied warnings they would collapse the Government by siding with Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to preserve the customs union with Brussels. The rebellion came despite desperate warnings from Tory chief whip Julian Smith that defeat on the issue would prompt him to call a vote of confidence in Mrs May, followed by a possible general election.
Four Labour rebels tonight kept Theresa May in No10 and avoided triggering a potential no-confidence vote that could have toppled the Conservatives. The Prime Minister survived a bid by pro-EU MPs in her own party to change its post-Brexit trade strategy. They wanted the UK to join a customs union in the event it did not agree a free-trade deal with the EU. But on an evening of high drama in the House of Commons, MPs voted against the proposed amendment to the Trade Bill tabled by Tory MP Stephen Hammond.
Theresa May threatened Conservative rebels with a general election this summer if they defeated her plans on customs after Brexit. Tory whips issued the warning to Remain-backing MPs, led by the former ministers Stephen Hammond and Nicky Morgan, minutes before a crucial vote last night that would have kept Britain inside a customs union. The prime minister survived the vote by a majority of six, although 12 of her MPs walked through the opposition division lobbies in defiance.
Theresa May will address Conservative MPs later following a week which has shown up her party’s Brexit divisions. The meeting will be the prime minister’s last chance to rally backbenchers before the summer recess. It will cap off a day which includes Prime Minister’s Questions and an appearance by Mrs May at the Liaison Committee of select committee chairs. On Tuesday, ministers saw off a bid by Tory rebels to create a customs union with the EU if a trade deal failed.
Tory Remainer rebels face accusations they went back on a deal to back Theresa May over her Chequers blueprint. A leaked email showed that MPs pledged to support the Prime Minister several weeks ago if she signed up to ‘close alignment’ with the EU. But 12 MPs voted against the Government on the customs union, despite Mrs May making clear concessions in the Brexit white paper. The email, published by the Guido Fawkes website, was written by Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, who led last night’s customs rebellion. Sent to more than 20 pro-Remain MPs at the start of July, it made clear Remainers were backing away from a rebellion on customs in the EU Withdrawal Bill on the understanding they would wait to see Mrs May’s proposal on the future relationship.
Last week it was Brexiteers who were furious after Theresa May caved into a soft Brexit, this morning it is Remainers who are kicking off after Number 10 accepted the ERG amendments last night. Now Soubry, Morgan, Grieve and co are attempting to keep us in the customs union if we haven’t got a frictionless trade agreement with the EU by January. The reality is Number 10 and parliament cannot allow any further concessions to the Remainers or the EU if the government is to survive. The remaining few Brexiteers in the Cabinet say they will not stomach any further sellout.
Theresa May today climbed down form her bid to send MPs home early for their summer holidays after facing a storm of criticism. The Prime Minister wanted to deploy the extraordinary tactic as she battles to stave off a Brexit meltdown and threats to her leadership. But her Cabinet ministers and Tory backbenchers had lashed the plan – branding it ‘idiotic’ and warning that it will go down like a lead balloon with voters. The controversial motion was quietly withdrawn by the frontbench in the House of Commons tonight after the PM narrowly avoided a defeat on her Brexit plans.
THERESA May has abandoned a motion calling for Parliament’s summer recess to be brought forward by five days after critics argued to move was a clear and “absolutely pathetic” attempt to shore up her authority amid growing Brexit chaos. The Government had proposed tabling a motion today to bring forward the closure of Parliament for the summer from next Tuesday to this Thursday. A vote had been pencilled in for Wednesday but the Government has now decided not to move forward with the motion. This came amid growing opposition from Conservative MPs to the plan, with a number of pro-European Tories having already suggesting they would have opposed any attempt to cut short the term with Brexit negotiations continuing to drag their feet.
Remainer Tory MPs agreed a deal to support Theresa May if she pursued “continued economic alignment” with the EU – only to renege on it today with an amendment attempting to keep us in the customs union. Guido can reveal that on 1 July, key Remainer Stephen Hammond emailed his ‘Conservative Group for Europe’ of hardcore Remain MPs, outlining the terms of a coordinated threat to Number 10. The Remainers agreed that if the Cabinet backed a soft Brexit with “continued economic alignment” plus a backstop arrangement, they would not put down rebel amendments to the Trade and Customs Bill.
Boris Johnson is poised to make a potentially explosive resignation statement to MPs, nine days after quitting as foreign secretary. Many MPs believe it could be as spectacular and dramatic as that of Sir Geoffrey Howe in 1990, which brought about the downfall of Margaret Thatcher. Mr Johnson was spotted approaching the Chair and seeking the permission of the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, during one of the votes on the government’s latest Brexit legislation, the Trade Bill. He has opted to make a formal resignation statement, as he is entitled to do under parliamentary convention, rather than speak in a Commons debate, as David Davis – who also quit the cabinet over Brexit – chose to do on Monday.
SHOCK resignations from within the Tory party have shaken Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans. Will she call a second referendum on Brexit? Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet met on Friday, July 6 to discuss Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Mrs May believed all members in her party had agreed on terms, however, an onslaught of resignations tested her resolve. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis resigned from his position last week after disagreeing with the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy.
The chief rabbi has said Labour’s new definition of antisemitism sends “an unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community”. Labour’s national executive committee overrode the concerns of Ephraim Mirvis, more than 65 other senior British rabbis, and the parliamentary Labour Party to wave through its proposed new rules yesterday on antisemitic behaviour in its ranks. The code adopts part of, but not all, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition and guidelines, accepted in full by the government, Crown Prosecution Service and more than 100 local authorities.
Jeremy Corbyn has been called a ‘****ing anti-Semite’ by a veteran Jewish Labour MP following a bitter row over the party’s failure to accept a widespread definition of anti-Semitism. In an extraordinary intervention, former minister Dame Margaret Hodge confronted the Labour leader in the Commons after yesterday’s votes on Brexit. The heated exchange took place behind the Speaker’s chair out of range of the cameras, according to the Huffington Post. ‘You’re a ****ing anti-Semite and a racist,’ Dame Margaret told him. ‘You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.’
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of being an antisemite by a senior Labour MP during an angry public confrontation in parliament on Tuesday, after the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) refused to ditch a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism. The decision infuriated Jewish leaders and many of the party’s MPs, who had voted overwhelmingly on Monday night to urge the NEC to change course. Margaret Hodge, the former chair of the public accounts committee, approached Corbyn behind the Speaker’s chair as MPs took part in a series of knife-edge votes on Brexit on Tuesday.
Labour MPs who helped Theresa May see off a challenge to her Brexit plans last night were threatened with deselection by party supporters. The Prime Minister was saved from a humiliating defeat on the customs union with the votes of four Labour Brexiteers. Frank Field, Kate Hoey, John Mann and Graham Stringer – along with independent Kelvin Hopkins – voted with the Government. Mr Hopkins is currently suspended from the party over harassment claims. The five faced an immediate backlash from Labour supporters amid claims the Government could have been forced to call a general election if it had been defeated.
The Lib Dem leadership are facing fury from activists today after Sir Vince Cable and Tim Farron missed a knife-edge Brexit votes last night. The Tories won the showdown by just three votes – meaning the last-minute hard Brexiteer changes which Theresa May caved to at the eleventh hour passed. The Lib Dems have apologised for being missing in action – but are facing a storm of criticism form activists who are threatening to tear up their membership.
The Liberal Democrats have admitted the party “messed up” after two of its top figures missed two knife-edge Brexit votes. Former leader Tim Farron and his successor Sir Vince Cable were not in the chamber when the government passed key customs proposals by just three votes. Instead of being in the Commons, Mr Farron was in Dorset giving a talk about the furore during the general election over his views on gay sex and whether it was a sin.
The European Union has serious doubts over the government’s political stability but will string Theresa May along in negotiations while focusing on boxing Britain into a controversial “backstop” over the Irish border. Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, insisted yesterday that Brexit negotiations remained on track despite Eurosceptic amendments to the government’s plans. While noting “political instability in London and turmoil in Westminster”, he said that developments “shouldn’t give us cause for panic, and certainly shouldn’t give us any reason to change our position”.
THERESA MAY’s Chequers Brexit proposal won’t get anywhere in negotiations with the EU, who will demand to have more from the UK, one Tory backbencher has warned on BBC Newsnight. Parliament has been battling over the Chequers deal, as hard-line Brexiteers and Remainers try to force policy through the Chamber. Marcus Fysh, Yeovil MP, told the late night politics programme the EU will tell the Prime Minister the deal “isn’t good enough”. He said: “I do think this particular negotiation strategy won’t pass the first test of engagement with the EU and I think the EU will just say that isn’t good enough, we want more.”
The European Union’s financial system will come off worse in a no-deal Brexit, Mark Carney told MPs, as another chaotic day in Parliament threatened to tip Britain closer to a scenario he said would also have “big economic consequences” at home. The Governor of the Bank of England warned that the negative consequences on the continent of failure to agree terms would be “cold comfort” for Britain as the City would effectively be cut off from EU.
AID chief Penny Mordaunt last night threatened to stop all British aid money going to EU humanitarian projects in an explosive new row with Brussels. She accused the EU of putting the world’s poorest at risk by blocking millions of pounds going to British aid organisations because of Brexit. Ms Mordaunt let rip at Brussels over revelations the European Commission is discriminating against UK charities and aid organisations by telling them they will be dropped from aid projects if Britain leaves the EU without a deal next year.
INTERNATIONAL Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has lambasted the EU for jeopardising the welfare of the world’s most vulnerable individuals by freezing out UK charities from EU development programmes. She accused the bloc of using Brexit as an excuse to discriminate against UK charities after the European Commission revealed they will be dropped from EU aid projects if the UK fails to achieve a deal in March 2019. Speaking to the Commons International Development committee, Ms Mordaunt vowed to retaliate against these warnings.
THOUSANDS of disgruntled Brexit voters have joined UKIP since Theresa May’s Chequers summit, party insiders have claimed. Officials last night confirmed that they had processed 2,500 new members in the last week, with sources boasting that 4000 applications had been made since the PM’s soft Brexit plans were published. The boost in membership would reflect a polling boost for the Eurosceptic party who rose five points from three to eight percent in polling since civil war broke out in the Tory Party. A source said: “The is no denying the Chequers sellout has had a major impact on our numbers.”
Senior judges will hear a challenge by former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson against his 13-month jail term for contempt of court. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was locked up in May after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on social media. The footage, lasting around an hour, was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook. The far-right activist was given 10 months for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.
Thousands of patients are unable to see an NHS dentist due to a recruitment crisis at the UK’s largest provider. Mydentist, which has ten million patients on its books, admits it does not have enough dentists to carry out check-ups and treatments. Patients have had urgent procedures cancelled at the last minute and been told to wait for months or find another dentist. Others with painful tooth infections have been prescribed antibiotics, contrary to NHS guidelines, because no dentists are available to undertake treatment.
Eating dinner at least two hours before bedtime could lower the risk of developing breast of prostate cancer, a new study suggests. People who ate their evening meal before 9pm or waited two hours after eating before going to sleep were found to have a 20 per cent reduced risk of cancer compared to those who ate after 10pm or close to bedtime. The research, carried out by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, is the first to look at the association between cancer risk and the timing of meals, and researchers say it has implications for disease prevention advice.
President Trump lurched into damage control mode last night, insisting that he had “full faith” in his intelligence agencies and conceding that Russia had tried to influence the 2016 election. He also vowed to defend US democracy from future attacks but insisted that his election victory owed nothing to the Kremlin. A hastily concocted statement, read by the president from the White House, was intended to contain the fallout from an extraordinary joint press conference with President Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
SCIENTISTS have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter – including a tiny “oddball” flying in the wrong direction. The discovery brings Jupiter’s total number of known moons to a whopping 79 – the most of any planet in our Solar System. A team led by Scott S. Sheppard, of the Carnegie Institution for Science, spotted the moons while hunting for a possible massive planet, known as “planet X” far beyond Pluto. “Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant Solar System objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our Solar System,” said Sheppard.