Speaker John Bercow is facing the wrath of ministers today after he allowed an ‘out of order’ amendment from Tory Remainer rebels that heaps pressure on Theresa May.
Mr Bercow is said to have defied the advice of clerks to permit a vote on a change to the government’s Brexit motion.
It would effectively force the PM to come back to Parliament with a Plan B within three days of her deal being defeated.
The government had been convinced the business motion, due to be voted on this afternoon, was unamendable by rank-and-file MPs.
Even senior Labour figures had privately thought the amendment could not be selected.
Tory rebels led by Dominic Grieve made their next move today as they attempted to re-write the rules of debate on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
They want to force Mrs May to return to the Commons with a plan B within three days of her deal being defeated on Tuesday night, as appears inevitable.
Speaker John Bercow is said to have defied the advice of clerks to permit a vote on a change to the government’s Brexit motion
The rebel amendment would effectively force the PM (pictured at No10 today) to come back to Parliament with a Plan B within three days of her deal being defeated
Ex minister Nick Boles (pictured in the Commons last night) revealed today he had received a death threat for the first time after joining a Tory revolt against no deal Brexit
The government were confident today’s rebellion would be scotched as the ‘business motion’ could only be amended by a minister.
But it was unexpectedly allowed on the order paper by clerks. There are claims Mr Bercow then selected it despite concerns from advisers.
Nikki da Costa, a former legislative expert at Downing Street, expressed surprise that it had been accepted – suggesting it flew in the face of procedure.
‘More than anything this is not just overturning something the House accepted in a business motion, it is overturning the EUWA (EU Withdrawal Act) and procedure voted on and approved in both Houses with much debate and scrutiny, and indeed which Grieve accepted on floor of the House,’ she posted on Twitter.
Tory Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen said: ‘The Speaker is riding roughshod over parliamentary procedure, the standing orders and the legal advice of the clerks to pander to the anti-Brexit sentiment of his supporters in Parliament.’
‘His continued occupation of the Speakers’ chair is a clear and present threat to our democracy and our constitution.’
Last night’s revolt showed Downing Street there are enough rebels to defeat the Government over no deal.
Ex minister Nick Boles revealed today he had received a death threat for the first time after joining a Tory revolt against no deal
Mr Boles was one of 20 Tory MPs who joined forced with Labour to inflict another humiliating defeat on
In the Commons last night, Mr Boles warned the PM: ‘We’ll be seeking to use any and every opportunity to show that Parliament will not allow a no-deal Brexit.
‘This is a single skirmish in a long campaign.’
The threat against Mr Boles comes amid rising concern at harassment and abuse of MPs outside Parliament.
Tory MP Anna Soubry was surrounded by an angry mob on Monday and branded a ‘Nazi’ by a group linked to Tommy Robinson.
Commons Speaker John Bercow has written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick protesting the lack of arrests.
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, seen as Mrs May’s effective deputy, this morning issued another frantic plea for critics to get behind her plan.
He appealed for MPs to give up on hopes for ‘magical alternative deals that are somehow going to sort of spring out of a cupboard in Brussels’.
Tory MP Anna Soubry was surrounded by an angry mob on Monday and branded a ‘Nazi’ by a group linked to Tommy Robinson
Ministers have played down the impact of the Commons vote last night, painting it as an inconvenience rather than a mortal blow to the government’s ability to respond to a no-deal situation.
It was the first time since James Callaghan was PM in the 1970s that a government has been defeated in a vote on the Finance Bill, which is used to enact the Budget.
The Tory rebels included 17 former ministers, six of whom had served at Cabinet level. Among them were Sir Michael Fallon, Kenneth Clarke, Justine Greening, Nicky Morgan, Sir Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve.