Theresa May suffered an historic landslide defeat in the Commons last night, losing her Brexit deal by 432 to 202 - a huge majority of 230. She su
Theresa May suffered an historic landslide defeat in the Commons last night, losing her Brexit deal by 432 to 202 – a huge majority of 230.
She suffered a rebellion of 118 of her MPs – with the group including a raft of former ministers. Tom Pursglove and Eddie Hughes quit as ministerial aides to join the rebels.
It was the biggest Tory rebellion for decades – worse than anything faced by David Cameron, John Major or Margaret Thatcher.
The revolt includes more than a third of her entire 317-strong party and was led by ringleaders Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
A raft of Brexit supporting former ministers including David Davis, Dominic Raab, Sir Michael Fallon and Esther McVey were among the rebels.
Mrs May was also deserted by Remain rebels – including Jo Johnson, Sam Gyimah and Philip Lee who all quit the Government to vote No.
Overall there are 17 former Tory Cabinet ministers on the list – including Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, Andrew Mitchell and Priti Patel.
All ten of the DUP MPs who are supposed to be propping up the Tories in power also deserted the Government.
The PM was aided by just three Labour rebels – an Austin (Labour – Dudley North), Sir Kevin Barron (Labour – Rother Valley) and John Mann (Labour – Bassetlaw) – plus three independent MPs Frank Field (Birkenhead), Lady Hermon (North Down) and Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne).
The majority of 230 was by far the biggest on record, higher than the 166 defeat for the Labour majority government in 1924.
The scale of the defeat laid bare the failure of the whipping operation in favour of the day as the size of the rebellion appears to have grown during the debate – in defiance of predictions the Government would whittle down opposition.
More rebels emerged during the month-long delay to the vote ordered by Mrs May after it became clear she would lose before Christmas.
Cheering could be heard by crowds of protesters gathered outside Parliament as the news filtered through – while the EU expressed shock.
Rising to her feet moments after the drubbing, a clearly shaken Mrs May said the government will ‘listen’ and announced she would fight a no-confidence vote tomorrow – effectively daring Jeremy Corbyn to call one.
He immediately accepted, saying the government had reached the ‘end of the line’.
Mr Johnson, who resigned as Foreign Secretary to oppose the PM’s deal last July, said the rebellion was bigger than he expected.
He told Sky News: ‘The margin of defeat for the government is bigger than I expected. What she has now is a massive mandate. With 432 votes against her deal, she takes it back to Brussels and says ‘we can’t do this deal as it is, we need a fresh approach.’
‘What she should not do, and I’m hearing rumours around this place, what would be fatal is parliamentary plottery and jiggery-pokery and coming up with schemes to delay Article 50 or come up with a second referendum.’
Source: Daily Mail, UK