Jeremy Hunt apologises for skipping key vote after major blunder
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Jeremy Hunt, who has been campaigning to be the next prime minister, has tweeted an apology saying he accidentally missed a crucial vote.
The foreign secretary made a hastily-composed tweet saying: "I missed votes today because I thought I was slipped and it turns out I was not. Apologies to my colleagues & whips office."
Hunt said he believed he had been paired, a time-saving practice in which MPs on opposite sides of the debate pair up and mutually agree not to show up to vote.
He said he would have voted against the amendment because "parliament should NOT restrict the hands of an incoming [government] in this way".
All Conservatives were under a three-line whip for the vote on an amendment to a Northern Ireland bill, which aimed to prevent the prorogation of parliament in coming weeks. Both Hunt and his leadership rival Boris Johnson have refused to rule out the measure, which would theoretically allow them to force through a no-deal Brexit.
MORE: Anti-Brexit MPs score major victory in preventing a forced no-dealUnder normal circumstances, a cabinet minister who defies a three-line whip is expected to resign from their post. An MP who votes against their government can also expect to have the whip removed - ie, to be excluded from their party.
You may also want to watch:
Hunt seems to have unwittingly joined six other ministers who defied the whip to approve the amendment. David Gauke, Philip Hammond, Greg Clark, Caroline Noakes, Karen Bradley and Rory Stewart are all unstood to have abstained.
However, Downing Street has so far held off making any moves to reprimand the rebels.
- 1 Boris Johnson warned majority will be 'wiped out' over treatment towards north of England
- 2 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 3 Boris Johnson 'frantically repositioning' himself for Donald Trump to lose election
- 4 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 5 James Cleverly mocked after telling people to 'look at how they're doing in Wales'
- 6 Minister says Dido Harding is working '19-hours a day' on Test and Trace
- 7 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 8 Peers set to remove law-breaking sections of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 9 Second shop owner bans Tory MPs who voted against free school meals motion
- 10 Third Tory MP who rejected extending free school meals is targeted with local protests
The vote was carried against the government by a majority of 41.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.