- Jeremy Corbyn calls vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government following its defeat on their Brexit deal with the EU.
- The Labour leader says the historic defeat means the prime minister has lost the authority to govern.
- May effectively called a vote of no confidence in her own government following the meaningful vote, telling MPs that it was right to “test” parliament’s confidence in the government.
- MPs are expected to vote on the motion of no confidence on Wednesday.
- If successful, a general election could be called within weeks.
LONDON – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has officially laid down a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government in a move designed to trigger a general election after the prime minister’s deal was roundly rejected by MPs.
Corbyn announced to the House of Commons on Tuesday evening that he was launching a no confidence motion after MPs voted down May’s Brexit deal by a margin of 432 votes to 202. A huge majority of 230.
The Labour leader said: “In the last two years, she [May] has only had one priority: the Conservative Party.
“Her governing principle of delay and denial has reached the end of the line.
“She cannot seriously believe that after two years of failure, she is capable of negotiating a good deal for the people of this country. On the most important issue facing us, this government has lost the confidence of this House and this country.”
He added: “I therefore Mr Speaker, inform you, that I have tabled a motion of no confidence in this government. I am pleased that motion will be debated tomorrow so this House can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion of no confidence in this government.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tables motion of no confidence in UK PM Theresa May's government after heavy defeat in MPs' #BrexitVote
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 15, 2019
Under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the House of Commons must hold a short debate on the no confidence motion on Wednesday before voting on whether to support the Labour leader’s move to oust the government.
For the motion to be successful, Corbyn would need support from a majority of MPs.
This currently looks unlikely given that even MPs who oppose May’s deal -including Conservatie MPs and the Democratic Unionist Party – have said they would vote to preserve the government and keep out Corbyn.
However, if more than half of MPs were to support Corbyn, the prime minister would have just 14 days to restore confidence in her government. If she failed, she would have to call a general election.
Failure to pass the motion of no confidence would lead to immediate pressure on the Labour leader to shift his support behind holding a second Brexit referendum. It is agreed Labour policy to leave the door open to holding a second referendum, but only after any push for a new general election has failed.
Immediately after learning that MPs had rejected her deal, Prime Minister May effectively called a vote of no confidence in her government, claiming it was appropriate to “test” parliament’s confidence in her.