Chancellor blames technology error after voting for amendment that bans chlorinated chicken after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 10:59 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:59 14 May 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak accidentally voted for an amendment that would ban chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef entering the UK after Brexit; Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak accidentally voted for an amendment that would ban chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef entering the UK after Brexit; Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

2020 Getty Images

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has blamed parliament’s new electronic voting system after he accidentally backed an amendment that blocks chlorinated chicken entering the UK after Brexit.

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Sunak stands with a handful of MPs across the political divide who cast their vote incorrectly in the Commons on Wednesday.

It is reported Sunak immediately rang the Tory whip to explain the mix-up.

“The chancellor did not intentionally vote against the government. He called the chief whip straight away to explain,” a source close to Sunak told the BBC.

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Sunak and 22 other Tory MPs backed an amendment by Conservative MP Neil Parish to block the import of food that did not meet UK health standards.

It is understood Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Kate Osborne also appear to have voted against the amendment by accident while former environment minister MP Theresa Villiers is said to have rebelled on purpose.

Nonetheless the amendment from Labour was defeated by 277 to 328, a government majority of 51.

The vote would have stopped chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef entering the UK after Brexit.

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