MPs deny Boris Johnson a general election after his third attempt to force one

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:04 28 October 2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings, left, leave 10 Downing Street. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings, left, leave 10 Downing Street. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

MPs have once again denied Boris Johnson a general election on December 12th - but there is expected to be further attempts to force one in the next 24 hours.

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The government won the vote in the House of Commons by 299 votes to 70, but it did not achieve the two-thirds majority required in line with the Fixed Terms Parliament Act.

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said his party would not back the motion for a December 12 election but would support efforts for a December 9 poll.

Blackford said: "If we enable this motion to pass, we will be out before the prime minister's election.

"We cannot allow the prime minister to railroad through this disastrous so-called deal."

He added: "We will support the Liberal Democrats' proposals for an election before Brexit can happen, with no reintroduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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"Because given the way that some Labour MPs voted we cannot trust Labour to block the Bill in future."

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would "consider carefully" any legislation which "locks in" the date of an election, amid moves for a legislative bid to have a national poll on December 9.

He said a December 12 election is "less than a fortnight before Christmas" and said "in parts of this country it will be dark before 4pm".

He added: "Many students will have just finished their term and gone home for Christmas."

As Tory MPs groaned, Corbyn replied: "People having the right to vote is what an election is all about. They (students) risk being disenfranchised."

After further pressing the student issue, Corbyn said: "The latter point may not be the case on December 9 and we will consider carefully any legislation proposed that locks in the date."

Explaining the Liberal Democrats' position, Jo Swinson defended their position to backing a December 9 election if a vote takes place tomorrow.

She said: "We need to see the path forward, and if it is not going to be through a people's vote, if there is not the support for a people's vote in this parliament, then we need to look at the other way to do that, and right now that is through having a general election."

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