[Editor’s note: The current British political situation is very confusing, everything is a chaotic mess, no-one knows what is going to happen from one day to the next, the country is virtually ungovernable and the chaos will only get worse.
…from Press TV, Tehran
– First published … September 04, 2019 –
How can a man who has disunited his own party in just a few months keep the UK United? Boris Johnson has wiped out his own majority.
The British Prime Minister suffered a humiliating defeat on Tuesday as parliament, including 21 members of his own party, voted to seize control of the parliamentary agenda.
The 328-301 vote, the first of Johnson’s term as Prime Minister, gives lawmakers the opportunity to advance legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit and push back the Brexit deadline once again.
The MPs can now control parliament’s agenda as of Wednesday afternoon. The legislation being put forward by opposition and “rebel” Conservative party lawmakers would force the Prime Minister to request another delay in implementing Brexit, to January 2020, unless a deal is reached (or Parliament approves a no-deal Brexit) by October 19.
The vote was essentially seen as a confidence vote on Johnson’s government and its Brexit strategy.
The unreliable Johnson responded he would bring forward a motion for an early general election, which he wants to take place on October 15, just days before an EU summit in Brussels. But Jeremy Corbyn neutralized him once again, saying that the bill should be passed before an election was held.
In response, Johnson who had initially tried to prevent the simmering rebellion by threatening to expel all who took part, announced that he will strip 21 Tory MPs of the whip, which will be one of the biggest parliamentary bloodbaths in history.
Eight former Cabinet ministers including Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and Greg Clark will lose the Tory whip, meanwhile Tory grandees Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill’s grandson, will lose the party whip. They will sit in the House as independents and the party will block their selection as candidates in the next election.
This morning, Stewart, who just a few weeks ago ran for the leadership of his Conservative Party, revealed in an interview that he learnt he had been thrown out of the party via a text message.
“It came by text,” Stewart said.
According to the former cabinet minister, “at least 30 or 40” Conservative lawmakers agreed with the rebel MPs, but didn’t vote against the government, partly because of Johnson’s threats.
“It’s not just that they’re being threatened with losing their incomes and jobs but people feel deeply loyal towards the Conservative Party, they want to give the Prime Minister a chance, they don’t want to bring in a Corbyn government, so he’s been able to use all of that,” he added.
Soames, 71, also said that his expulsion from his party was impending.
“I have been told by the Chief Whip … that it will be his sad duty to write me tomorrow to tell me that I have had the whip removed,” said Soames, who has been a Conservative member of parliament since 1983.
For the “liberated” conservative rebels, this is like the figurative spoils of war.
Speaking late on Tuesday to a packed House of Commons, the Prime Minister said the MPs’ bill would “hand control” of Brexit negotiations to the EU and bring “more dither, more delay, more confusion”, adding: “The people of this country will have to choose.”
Johnson’s desperate plea comes in the context of Britain’s embattled political system, which has been trapped in Brexit deadlock for months.
The key question is what happens now? Will Johnson somehow succeed in forcing through a no-deal Brexit, or will he fall by the wayside like his predecessor Theresa May?