Late this afternoon in the House of Commons, the Tories became the first government in the history of this country to be found guilty of contempt of Parliament, when MPs voted by 311 votes to 293 in support of a motion of contempt for the government’s refusal to disclose Brexit legal advice. The Tories, for fear of losing the vote for the release of the information last month, did not even contest it – but then said yesterday that they would only be releasing a summary.
The moment of the announcement of the result after votes were counted were dramatic in parliamentary terms, not least because of the comments that microphones picked up in from the Commons benches and BBC studio as the government’s defeat and disgrace became clear:
The DUP again voted against the Tories, setting a pattern likely to persist into next week and beyond.
In any other period in the UK’s history a government in such disgrace and disarray would be dissolved and a general election called.
But the Tories cling to power for dear life – so a nation desperate for change and leadership must wait until Labour’s motion of no confidence next week for a chance to see concrete steps toward a new general election begin – or even, possibly, a change of government without one.
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