WESTMINSTER – MEMBERS of Parliament have turned down on Wednesday a motion by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election.
This was a second defeat for him as MPs earlier backed a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit if Johnson hadn’t agreed a plan with the EU ahead of the October 31 deadline.
Johnson said the bill “scuppered” negotiations and the only way forward now was an election, the BBC reported.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the PM of “playing a disingenuous game” to force a no-deal Brexit.
He said his party would back an election after the bill had been passed, but not before.
Both the SNP and the Liberal Democrats also criticised the prime minister’s motion as a plot to make sure the UK left the EU without a deal.
But supporters of Mr Johnson hit back at opposition members who had been calling for a general election for two years.
According to the BBC, Johnson wanted MPs to agree to an early general election on October 15, saying the bill – which forces him to ask for an extension to the Brexit deadline if no deal had been agreed – left him unable to negotiate a deal.
He needed two thirds of all MPs to vote in favour under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, but the result only saw 298 vote for the motion and 56 against – 136 short of the number he needed, the BBC stated.