Leo’s getting bolshi
Asked for his message to unionists: “I would hope that some of the people who supported Brexit and campaigned for it would realize, or at least acknowledge, that they’re the ones who created this problem and I’m one of the people who is trying to resolve it.”
Leo is getting feisty
Brexit rebels turn Theresa May from winner to loser, again
matt chorley, red box editor
Theresa May was a winner until she was a loser. Last week she was useless until she was brilliant, returning home on Friday with the Brexit deal that she had very nearly squandered on Monday.
And now the hero is back to zero again: the prime minister has suffered her first Commons defeat on Brexit.
Dominic Grieve, a former attorney-general, had tabled an amendment which meant parliament had to approve the final terms of any withdrawal agreement before it could be enacted by ministers.
In the end 11 Tory MPs rebelled against the government, passing the amendment by 309 to 305 votes. The result was greeted with cheers of “we’re taking back control”, Labour MPs mocking the glum-faced Tory Brexiteers opposite.
Last-ditch attempts by ministers to reassure MPs about their promises of a meaningful vote were dismissed as “too late”. Dominic Raab, the justice minister, was accused of “smug arrogance” by one rebel.
The defeat came after a lot of arm twisting and cajoling. Gavin Williamson, the former chief whip and now defence secretary, was seen taking Paul Masterton, a new Scottish Tory MP, to one side in the Commons. Seconds later Masterton tweeted that he would abstain. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, was spotted helping a wavering Vicky Ford into the government lobby.
One senior Tory source tells The Times it was a “whips’ cock-up”, with talk that Julian Smith, the chief whip, threatened legal action against MPs who complained about whips’ office behaviour. One member of the Tory whips’ office spent yesterday afternoon wandering round parliament in a Santa Claus outfit.
The reaction has been typically furious. The Daily Mail front page asks the 11 rebels: “Proud of yourselves?” To which I suspect the answer is yes. The Daily Telegraph, which put lead in the rebels’ pencil with its “mutineers” front page, is disappointingly muted: “Mutiny in the Commons blows up storm for May’s Brexit talks.”
Dominic Grieve, Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen, Bob Neill and others were spotted toasting their success with white wine in the Pugin Room last night.
Nigel Farage furiously tweeted: “My contempt for career politicians knows no bounds.” My contempt for people who helped to set up a political party a quarter of a century ago, have been an elected MEP for more than half their adult life, and run for parliament seven times, pretending they are not a politician knows no bounds either.
Lord Adonis, the former Labour cabinet minister, hailed the result as a “first step towards defeat of Brexit”, tweeting that this was “before the Lords has got going on the National Betrayal Bill”. Nick Timothy, the PM’s former chief of staff, responded bluntly: “Dream on, Lord A.”
The sudden outrage at rebellion from certain quarters was particularly amusing — remember that the EU referendum only happened because Tory rebels forced David Cameron into promising one.
Stephen Hammond, one of the 11 rebels, was sacked as vice-chairman of the Conservative Party last night. Writing exclusively for Red Box today, he says it is the first time he has ever rebelled but “I had to put my country and constituency above my party”.
Nadine Dorries, who has rebelled against her party 43 times since 2005, demanded that last night’s rebels, including Hammond, be “deselected and never allowed to stand as a Tory MP, ever again”. She also accused Grieve of “treachery” after he was made chairman of the intelligence and security committee. Sarah Wollaston, another Tory, hit back: “Get over yourself Nadine.”
My colleague Henry Zeffman points out that only two Labour Brexiters — Kate Hoey and Frank Field — voted with the government. Dennis Skinner, Ronnie Campbell and John Mann were all on Team Grieve. “It was the Labour Brexiteers wot won it,” Zeffman adds.
In truth last night’s defeat does not hinder the progress of Brexit, though Europhile fantasists think there is a way of using it to reverse Brexit later. It would be quite something if MPs were to reject whatever deal the government final comes back with.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, told the Today programme: “This is not going to slow down Brexit, this is not going to stop Brexit.”
But its impact will be felt for a long time. May goes to Brussels for the EU summit today where her deal on the divorce talks gets rubber-stamped. (They will actually take the decision tomorrow, long after the British PM has returned home following dinner tonight.)
As she looks around the table May knows that other EU leaders will wonder if she can deliver on promises she makes in future trade talks, or if she will be over-ruled by parliament back home.
There is a risk that the rebels have got a taste for it: next week’s vote on the entirely symbolic plan to write the March 2019 exit date into the bill also looks set to be close, with Grieve again leading the opposition.
May’s hopes of going into Christmas on a high have been shattered again, but she is probably getting used to that by now.
This Gordonstoun-educated bought and paid for cunt is on Question Time tonight being a sneering, obnoxious, deluded cunt.
Some cunt on now on about t’working classes
Are Yawwksheh people the most tiresome in Britain.
After Gordonstoun-educated Torykipper Brexit shills with hair extensions.
“I say what I like and I like what I bloody well say”
R2D2 on now.
He was in Alan Partridge. Who knew nothing about Ireland. And neither do any of these people.
He seemed like he was making a good point but I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than the sound of his voice
Isabel made a very good point on breastfeeding
Isabel couldn’t breast feed because the rest of her body has dedicated itself to being a giant tit.
Did she blame immigrants on the problem?
Don’t forget the Scotch.
Nigel is coming over to Oireland @Tassotti
Who bankrolls this EFDD? RDS can’t be cheap to rent.