Cabinet Manual: #May can’t wait past today to show majority

The Cabinet Office publishes a manual outlining the rights, responsibilities and functioning of government. It is a formal document, issued by Parliament and it is available for any interested member of the public to download.

cab man cover

The manual has a section on how government begins when a party has an outright majority in Parliament – and a section on what must happen when no party has a majority.

In that section, at the bottom of page 14, is a paragraph that, in plain and simple English, states that Theresa May is behaving unlawfully in delaying the Queen’s Speech:

cab man

“An incumbent government is entitled to wait until the new Parliament has met to see if it can command the confidence of the House‘.

As of today, Parliament has met. Jeremy Corbyn entered the House of Commons to a standing ovation from his party, new MPs took their oath of allegiance and John Bercow was re-elected as Speaker.

Parliament has met.

The deadline for Theresa May to demonstrate she can command the confidence of the House has passed.

Not to demonstrate that she hopes to,. Not to say that she has ‘irons in the fire’.

To demonstrate it. By today.

Instead, all we got was another delay and statement saying she and the DUP hoped to finalise a deal tomorrow. A day too late even if it is not delayed. And a Queen’s Speech put back – for the first time in history – to next week.

As of now, Theresa May is unlawfully in Downing Street when she should be on her way to Buckingham Palace to tender her own and her government’s resignation – and, according to constitutional law experts, Jeremy Corbyn automatically becomes PM.

And nobody in the mainstream media, not one person among all those political reporters, correspondents and pundits, is raising this issue.

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  1. She’s hanging on by a thread so weak as to be useless. I’m loving it!

  2. 2.12 unedited:

    Where an election does not result in
    an overall majority for a single party,
    the incumbent government remains in
    office unless and until the Prime Minister
    tenders his or her resignation and the
    Government’s resignation to the Sovereign.
    An incumbent government is entitled to
    wait until the new Parliament has met to
    see if it can command the confidence of
    the House of Commons, but is expected to
    resign if it becomes clear that it is unlikely
    to be able to command that confidence
    and there is a clear alternative.

    What’s the clear alternative? Cons and DUP still talking and together can outvote everyone else put together.

    1. The ‘clear alternative’ has already been clarified by the article with the constitutional law experts’ opinion posted a day or two ago: ‘clear alternative’ simply means ‘leader of the largest opposition party’ – which is why it wasn’t included in the quotation: it’s irrelevant when there’s largest opposition party.

      1. I’m probably missing something but Labour alone can’t outvote the Conservatives to, say, get through a Queens’s speech or survive a no confidence motion. Even with the support of every other party they can’t outvote the Conservatives + DUP (who are unlikely to be Labour friendly given the vitriol poured on them over the last few days).

        How can Labour “command the confidence” of the House without entering their own confidence and supply arrangement which would have to include the DUP?

  3. How does the coalition with the DUP, work with English Votes for English(and Welsh)?

    1. Firstly it’s confidence and supply that’s being talked about, not formal coalition.

      With respect to EVEL the Conservatives have a majority in E&W combined – 304 to 268; 296 to 236 in England alone.

  4. We cannot allow this, Government to keep deceiving the electorate.

  5. Hope you’ve copied this to JC, Keir Starmer & co!! Seriously!!
    On the interpretation of 2:12–The law is unlikely to consider what happens in practice vide Sinn Fein, otherwise a caveat of some sort would be in the handbook. It will solely consider the numbers elected-why else does every returning officer say, ‘therefore………………. is duly elected to serve as the representative’? And that means 649, as there will always be a Speaker, and so the threshold for commanding confidence must be 325, which threshold, without some sort of finalised agreement of any type with the DUP or any other party, she cannot demonstrate.

    And until the new Parliament has met is now past, as I presume they’ve broken up for today?

  6. Cutting the last sentence off at the point you find convenient to back your headline premise is shoddy journalism and quite frankly beneath you.

  7. I like most of your articles, this however is sensationalism and arguing a point of semantics that does exist. They have stated they will govern as a minority, and as it stands they do have the confidence of the commons as they haven’t lost a confidence vote. Also it wont automatically go to JC, there isnt a clear alternative.

    Put bluntly – Labour are well within their rights to trigger a confidence vote whichw oudl then set the clock running if, and only if it was voted through, which I doubt it would even without DUP support as the SNP wont want to go back to the ballot box

  8. So as this information from the Manual is correct, how is it that Teresa May is still residing at no.10, perhaps someone needs to give her a Notice of Possession, she’s clearly squatting now!!!!.

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