A bill amendment requiring a vote on Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement bill has passed in very odd circumstances, with some MPs crying foul.
The Kinnock amendment was added to the anti-no-deal bill being brought by opposition MPs, and was not expected to pass. But it did, because there were no tellers available on behalf of the ‘no’ vote.
There was a flurry of confusion amongst commentators after the amendment passed.
Labour MP Alex Sobel said there was “skulduggery”, tweeting: “The amendment in the name of Stephen Kinnock didn’t have a vote as the government didn’t provide tellers to count.
“This meant the amendment went through although the No lobby was full. This wasn’t an accident you can be assured there’s some skulduggery going on.”
EXTREMELY unusual moment Stephen Kinnock's amendment to bring back the Withdrawal Agreement passes by accident, because no-one was ready to count the votes against it pic.twitter.com/H3aPt3ljY2— Alex Partridge (@alexpartridge87) September 4, 2019
The New Statesman’s Stephen Bush has also concluded that it was a deliberate act of “chicanery” by the government, but there is still a lot of speculation.
Theresa May’s bill, which was never voted on in anticipation of a loss, is the product of a new round of talks between the then-prime minister and opposition MPs. It includes several new or amended commitments, such as the maintaining of environmental commitments, maintaining workers’ rights in par with the EU, and some attempt at keeping trade frictionless alongside the Single Market.
Who are the rebel opposition MPs calling for the return of Theresa May’s deal?The MPs supporting the Kinnock amendment come from mostly Labour Leave constituencies, and argued that a vote on May’s deal would prevent a further extension which would “leave most of the country banging their head against a brick wall”.
It looks like the Kinnock amendment to put Theresa May's deal back to the Commons for another vote just went through by mistake.... things are getting very very odd around here indeed— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) September 4, 2019
The amendment in the name of Stephen Kinnock didn't have a vote as the Government didn't provide tellers to count. This meant the amendment went through although the No Lobby was full. This wasn't an accident you can be assured there's some skullduggery going on— (((Alex Sobel MP))) (@alexsobel) September 4, 2019