Boris Johnson has announced he will seek to trigger a snap general election after losing a crunch vote on Brexit when 21 Tory rebels turned against him. The Prime Minister said he would table a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on Tuesday night after opposition MPs were joined by Tory grandees who voted to seize control of parliamentary business.
Downing Street confirmed 21 Tory rebels – including former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond – would lose the Conservative whip as a result of their actions. Mr Johnson told the House of Commons after his defeat: ‘The consequences of this vote tonight means that Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal that we might be able to get in Brussels. ‘It will hand control of the negotiations to the EU.’ He continued: ‘I don’t want an election but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop the negotiations and to compel another pointless delay of Brexit, potentially for years, then that will be the only way to resolve this. ‘I can confirm that tonight we will are tabling a motion under the Fixed-term Parliament Act.’
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