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Boris Johnson’s call for a snap election rejected by MPs

A total of 298 MPs voted for the Prime Minister's motion but a two-thirds majority was required.

MPs have rejected the Prime Minister’s motion to call a snap general election.

Boris Johnson’s bid for an early election was backed by 298 votes to 56 against, with hundreds of abstentions from opposition MPs.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the PM needed a two-thirds majority of MPs – a threshold of 434 – to pass the motion, leaving the government 136 votes short.

It amounts to the fourth parliamentary defeat in 24 hours that has been inflicted on Johnson’s government.

The Prime Minister had called for a poll to be held on October 15 after legislation designed to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU on October 31 cleared the Commons.

But Labour, the SNP and other opposition MPs refused to back an election while the risk of a no-deal remained.

MPs approved a backbench Bill earlier in the evening to delay Brexit in order to prevent a no-deal withdrawal from the EU at the end of October.

It was passed in the Commons by 327 votes to 299 – majority 28 – but still needs to progress through the House of Lords.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Bill must be passed through the Lords and have received Royal Assent before he would back heading to the polls.

He said: “Let the Bill pass and have Royal Assent and then we can have a general election.”

Johnson accused Corbyn of wanting to “stop the people from voting” after Labour MPs abstained on his election motion.

The Prime Minister said: “I think he has become the first, to my knowledge, the first leader of the opposition in the democratic history of our country to refuse the invitation to an election.

“And I can only speculate as to the reasons behind his hesitation. The obvious conclusion, I’m afraid, is that he does not think he will win.”


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