Ten Ex-Tory rebels including Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd back Oliver Letwin amendment and pull the rug from under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal
- Ten ex-Tories lined up to vote against Boris Johnson today and block his deal
- They included former ministers Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd and David Gauke
- Their votes caused the Government to suffer another humiliating defeat
Ten ex-Tories including former Cabinet Ministers Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd wreaked their revenge on Boris Johnson today by pulling the rug from under his Brexit deal today.
A slew of MPs forced out or who left the party since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister joined his supposed DUP allies in voting for a rebel amendment in a dramatic showdown this afternoon.
They also included ex-chancellor Ken Clarke – who indicated he would support the deal, as well as hardcore Remainer ex-Tories Justine Greening, Nick Boles, David Gauke and Guto Bebb.
With Mr Johnson losing the vote by 322 to 306, their votes on his behalf would have seen Sir Oliver Letwin’s wrecking manoeuvre defeated, allowing a full meaningful vote on the withdrawal agreement.
With the Government plnning to introduce the full Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Monday it leaves the success of the deal on a knife edge.
The independent MPs who voted in favour of Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment this afternoon
Mr Hammond was stripped of the Tory whip after joining 20 other Conservative MPs to vote to block a No Deal Brexit
Ms Rudd, initially a Cabinet minister under Mr Johnson, quit in protest after Mr Hammond and others lost the whip
All 10 DUP MPs were among the ayes who voted for the amendment, which withholds approval for the deal until it passes into law.
They have lined up to oppose the PM’s deal over what they see as unacceptable new customs rules covering Northern Ireland.
DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds told the Commons: ‘This decision now will give further time for detailed consideration of the bill when it comes forward.
‘It will also give an opportunity to consider in detail whatever amendments come forward.’
As well as the DUP and the ex-Tory independents, whose voting for the amendment included former Labour MP Jared O’Mara and Chris Williamson, who is being investigated over allegations of anti-Semitism.
Six Labour MPs defied the party whip to vote with the Government, including former minister Caroline Flint. A further four, representing northern Leave-voting seats, abstained.
Just six Labour MPs defied the party whip to support the Government, with a further four abstaining
Boris Johnson vowed not to ‘negotiate a delay’ to Brexit today after his moment of triumph on a deal was dramatically snatched away.
Despite frantic efforts, the PM failed to fend off the amendment tabled by former Cabinet minister Sir Oliver, which prevented his new package being put to a formal vote this afternoon.
Mr Johnson now faces being compelled by the Benn Act to ask the EU for a Brexit extension tonight – but he defiantly insisted he would not change his stance.
Responding to the result, he raged: ‘The best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31.
‘I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.’
He added: ‘No delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31.’
Mr Johnson said his deal is not dead and he is expected to bring forward implementation legislation and hold a new vote on Tuesday.
He swiped: ‘The meaningful vote has been voided of meaning.’
But Jeremy Corbyn demanded the PM ‘obeys the law’ and asked the EU for an extension. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson urged Speaker John Bercow to suspend the sitting so the PM could go and write the letter, and return to inform them it can be sent.
Government whips had admitted they were not hopeful of defeating the Letwin amendment – which he insists is only intended to stave off the threat of No Deal. ‘Lots of people do seem to have been brought in by his arguments sadly,’ one told told MailOnline.