Government defeated in crucial vote

“Boris Johnson lost control of Brexit last night as MPs paved the way for an extension of the October 31 deadline. The prime minister also faced being unable to carry out his threat of calling a snap election after suffering a humiliating defeat in his first Commons vote. MPs took control of the parliamentary agenda by 328 votes to 301, a majority of 27. The government confirmed that it would strip the whip from the 21 Conservatives, including nine former cabinet ministers, who rebelled. The vote means that legislation forcing Mr Johnson to secure another Brexit delay is likely to pass today as opposition parties and Tory rebels combine to stop a no-deal exit next month.” – The Times

  • Who were the 21 Tory rebels? – Daily Telegraph
  • Former Chancellor led ‘Remain coup’ against the Prime Minister – The Sun
  • ‘Day of reckoning’ as enemies close in on all sides – The Times
  • Raab warns that No Deal law will cost taxpayers £1 billion a month – The Sun
  • Prime Minister urges Commons not to undermine negotiations – The Times


  • Prorogation plan was approved weeks ago – The Times
  • Emails revealed to legal challenge – The Sun


Corbyn refusing to support call for a general election

“Jeremy Corbyn will block Boris Johnson’s attempts to call a snap election today as the Labour leader was accused of leading a “junta” to stop Brexit. Boris Johnson has been forced into seeking a general election 
after Tory rebels united with Remainer MPs to seize control of Parliament to delay Brexit. He lost his first vote as Prime Minister by 328 to 301 after 21 Tories rebelled, and said he would pursue an election if Parliament votes in favour of a Bill to delay Brexit until Jan 31. The legislation will be rapidly forced through the Commons between 3pm and 7pm today, before passing to the House of Lords. To kill off the bill, the Prime Minister will ask MPs to approve plans for an election on Tuesday Oct 15 so that voters can settle the question of UK-EU relations once and for all.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Opposition to let Johnson ‘stew in his own juices’ – The Times
  • Labour ‘split’ on strategy – FT
  • Thornberry clashes with Hoey over bill – Daily Express


  • What might be the outcome of an election? – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson ‘delays polling day’ to accommodate Jewish voters – The Sun
  • What can the Prime Minister do today? – Daily Mail


  • Voters will take their revenge on shameful Remoaners – The Sun
  • What next? – The Times

>Today: Mark Harper MP in Comment: Yeah but no but yeah but. When it comes to making up its mind about an election, Labour is Vicky Pollard.

William Hague: Forget prorogation, we need a dissolution now

“We have a parliament that cannot go backwards, forwards, or agree to sit still. It is unable to agree on the best or prepare for the worst. While we should not blame all the individuals in it, many of whom have striven to avoid this paralysis, the collective effect of this Rubik’s Cube of a House of Commons is that it cannot properly serve the country in any scenario that we can now construct. It is the most seriously defunct Parliament of modern times. There is only one solution to that. It is the one adopted in each of our serious constitutional crises of recent centuries. In 1910, when the Lords refused to bow to the elected government; in 1831, as the arguments raged over the Great Reform Act; in 1784, as the Commons rebelled against the King’s choice of ministers, the argument was settled by the electorate being asked to choose a new parliament. The right course for Boris Johnson is not to prorogue Parliament but to seek to dissolve it.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The Fixed-term Parliaments Act has made this Brexit mess even worse – Catherine Haddon, Times Red Box
  • Prorogation may prove to be an election-winning move – Professor Sir John Curtice, Daily Telegraph
  • The Government can’t govern, Parliament can’t decide… what a toxic mess – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail


  • No Deal is preferable to Corbyn, and that will be the choice – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • Johnson’s bold plan is the only way to avoid becoming a laughing stock – Leo McKinstry, The Sun
  • Democratic crisis goes deeper than Brexit – Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: An election is coming. Here are the messages – beyond Brexit – that the Conservatives need to win it.

Cox reportedly warned Johnson his backstop demand was a ‘fantasy’

“Boris Johnson was reportedly warned by Geoffrey Cox that his plan to delete the backstop from the Brexit divorce deal was a ‘complete fantasy’ and would put the UK on course for a No Deal split from Brussels. The Attorney General is believed to have urged the Prime Minister to drop his hardline negotiating stance and instead pursue a compromise on the Irish border protocol. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, is alleged to have described Brexit re-negotiations as a ‘sham’. Downing Street has furiously denied the accusation levied at Mr Cummings. But Theresa May’s former chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, has claimed he has heard the ‘same reports’ regarding the comment as he also insisted he was ‘sometimes misreported’ when he was in Number 10.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson forced to deny claim of ‘sham’ talks – The Times

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Would the Withdrawal Agreement be acceptable without the backstop? 1) Redwood’s letter to Cox

Wallace says rebels have no legal right to remain Conservative candidates…

“But Tory sources said it was impossible for a candidate to stand if the leadership had withdrawn the whip. One source pointed to the example of former Tory vice-chairman Howard Flight, who was sacked by the then leader Michael Howard in the run-up to the 2005 election after making unauthorised comments about plans for Tory spending cuts. Mr Howard withdrew the whip from him, leaving him unable to stand at the election just six weeks later. Mark Wallace, of the Conservative Home website, said: ‘Philip Hammond was readopted perfectly validly, but that’s not an unassailable, inalienable status. If he loses the whip, effectively ceasing to be a member of the Conservative Party’s Approved Candidates List, then he would cease to be eligible to be nominated as the official Conservative candidate come election time.'” – Daily Mail

  • Hammond vows to fight on ‘as a Tory’ – The Times
  • Davidson joins backlash against decision to remove the whip – The Guardian
  • Chief of Staff ‘ranted’ at rebels in Downing Street – Daily Telegraph



…as the Government loses its formal majority as Lee crosses the floor

“Boris Johnson’s Conservative party lost its working majority in the House of Commons on Tuesday, as former minister Phillip Lee defected to the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats in a day of high Brexit tension. Dr Lee, a general practitioner who served as justice minister, crossed the floor of the Commons chamber as Mr Johnson delivered a statement on the recent G7 summit. As one of the few Tory MPs in favour of a second Brexit referendum, he had long been expected to leave the party. A member for 27 years, he bid farewell to the Tories, saying that the party had become “a narrow faction” that is “infected with the twin diseases of populism and English nationalism”. Dr Lee said that the Liberal Democrats were “best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed to heal our divisions”.” – FT

  • Liberal Democrat activists resign over his admission – Daily Mail


  • Stewart ‘will run as Independent candidate’ if he can’t be a Tory – Metro


  • Why am I quitting as an MP? Marxist Corbyn and job-destroying Johnson – Justine Greening MP, Times Red Box
  • Johnson has every right to strip rebels of the whip – Iain Duncan Smith MP, Daily Telegraph


Bercow criticised for using Gove’s children as basis for ‘scathing’ personal attack

“John Bercow was blasted last night for using Michael Gove’s children in a scathing personal attack on the MP. The divisive Commons speaker ranted at Cabinet minister Mr Gove about his behaviour at the school gates. In an extraordinary blast, the Remainer Speaker even appeared to name the school attended by Gove’s children, in a shocking breach of family privacy. He said: “I say to the Chancellor of the Duchy, that when he turns up at our school as a parent, he’s a very well-behaved fellow. He wouldn’t dare behave like that in front of [the school] and neither would I.” Red-faced Bercow, 56, croaked: “Don’t gesticulate, don’t rant, spare us the theatrics, behave yourself.” He then screamed: “Be a good boy young man – be a good boy.”” – The Sun

  • He’s accused of getting ‘too personal’ – Daily Mail
  • I’m just backing the Commons, Speaker insists – The Times
  • Tories considering plan to stand against Bercow at election – Daily Telegraph

Javid adds £2 billion to Brexit preparation fund

“Sajid Javid is to announce another £2 billion for Brexit projects today including one to develop Britain’s own global navigation satellite system. The money comes on top of an additional £2.1 billion pledged last monthincluding more funds to ready the country for a no-deal exit. It takes to £8.3 billion the total set aside since the referendum by Philip Hammond and Mr Javid, his successor as chancellor, to prepare for Brexit. Among other projects that Mr Javid has approved in the one-year spending round is one that he was denied when home secretary under Theresa May. Mr Hammond refused to agree his bid for extra cash for Border Force, prompting one of several rows that dogged their relations. Brexiteers accused Mr Javid’s predecessor of deliberately withholding proper funding to frustrate the credibility of any threat to walk away without a deal.” – The Times

  • Recession ‘highly probable’ in the event of a crash-out Brexit – FT
  • Gove promises to prop up firms hit by no-deal tariffs – The Times
  • World business groups warn against cliff-edge exit – The Guardian


  • Javid sounds death knell for Retail Price Index – FT


  • No Deal will only prolong economic uncertainty – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Ryan Bourne’s column: In America, public spending conservatism is being lost. It could happen in Britain.

Brady set to return as Chair of the 1922

“Sir Graham Brady will return as chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs after quitting the role while mulling a Conservative leadership bid. His return was announced on Tuesday before a parliamentary showdown between Boris Johnson and MPs attempting to prevent a no-deal Brexit. In May, the Tory MP stood down from the position which gave him a significant role in Theresa May’s departure as prime minister as he considered his own chances of leading the party. A statement from the committee said he would return as chairman “until a new executive is elected in the next session of Parliament”. The MP for Altrincham and Sale West had chaired the committee for nearly a decade and held shadow cabinet positions under David Cameron while in opposition. Sir Graham has said the only way to regain the public’s trust is to leave the EU by the current Halloween deadline.” – ITV

Government accused of ‘taking MPs for a ride’ on HS2

“The government was accused of attempting to mislead parliament over the cost of HS2 yesterday after it emerged that the line needed a further £32 billion to be fully built. Labour claimed that successive Conservative transport ministers had allowed legislation on HS2 to pass through parliament despite widespread suspicion that it could not be constructed for the existing budget. In July Nusrat Ghani, the transport minister, told parliament that the programme could be delivered in line with its previous £56 billion budget. It could now cost up to £88 billion. The legislation needed for phase one of HS2 between London and Birmingham gained royal assent in February 2017, allowing the company behind the project to proceed with detailed ground investigations and demolition.” – The Times

  • Project to be delayed by up to five years as costs spiral – The Guardian

Sturgeon to demand referendum powers

“Nicola Sturgeon is to demand the power to hold a second Scottish independence referendum. The SNP leader vowed to pass a law on the issue by the end of 2019, with a view to holding the vote in the second half of next year. The last Scottish independence referendum was held in 2014, with the ‘No’ campaign securing 55 per cent of the vote to the nationalists’ 45 per cent. Previous First Minister Alex Salmond said in a 2014 TV interview that the previous vote was a ‘once in a lifetime’ event, although he later denied having said that. Speaking in Holyrood today, Ms Sturgeon said it ‘now seems inevitable that there will be an early UK general election’. She added: ‘Let me be crystal clear today – the SNP will put Scotland’s opposition to Brexit and our right to choose independence at the very heart of that contest.'” – Daily Mail

  • Sorry Nicola, the UK is strong enough to survive Brexit intact – Ruth Davidson MSP, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Could the Tory rebels win back their seats at the next election? – Mark Gettleston, The Spectator
  • Don’t blame Boris for hate crime – Tom Chivers, UnHerd
  • With creative thinking, we can solve the Irish border – Marcus Fysh MP, CapX
  • The time to confront the housing crisis is now – Jason Reed, 1828
  • Can we build a base on the moon? – Yang Gao, Reaction

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