Eight Labour MPs vote against Commons bid to block no-deal Brexit with more abstaining
PUBLISHED: 19:02 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:51 12 June 2019
Eight Labour MPs ignored party orders to support efforts to stop a no-deal, with more abstaining on the party's motion.
Their efforts dented the party's bid to allow MPs to take control of the Commons agenda on June 25 as part of an attempt to block the UK leaving the EU without a deal on October 31.
It was defeated by 309 votes to 298, majority 11, despite 10 Conservative MPs rebelling to support it.
Those Labour MPs who rebelled to oppose the motion included Sir Kevin Barron (Rother Valley), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse), Caroline Flint (Don Valley), Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), John Mann (Bassetlaw) and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton).
Abstentions came from Clive Efford, Julie Elliott, Paul Farrelly, Hugh Gaffney, Imran Hussain, Barbara Keeley, Ian Lucas, Gordon Marsden, Melanie Onn, Ruth Smeeth, Gareth Snell, Jo Stevens, and Derek Twigg.
Some of those absent MPs said that they had been involved in a pairing scheme to ensure their support was still counted, but could not be present due to other parliamentary commitments, including committee trips.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer had earlier urged MPs to support the measures in order to introduce a "safety valve" into the Brexit process given some of the promises being made by Tory leadership candidates.
This includes some of them refusing to rule out proroguing parliament in order to force the UK's EU departure on October 31, with Sir Keir arguing the Opposition was trying to "make sure parliament cannot be locked out".
He also said of the Tory leadership race: "It's become an arms race to promise the most damaging form of Brexit or to make the most absurd or undeliverable promises."
One Labour MP, Gareth Snell, said Labour "will have been responsible for a no-deal Brexit by default because of our inability to make a decision" - before abstaining on a motion to stop no-deal Brexit.
The Tory MPs that voted against the government and in support of the motion were Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), Justine Greening (Putney), Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield), Sam Gyimah (East Surrey), Phillip Lee (Bracknell), Oliver Letwin (West Dorset), Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury), Caroline Spelman (Meriden).