Breaking: May survives confidence vote as Tories return to type

As expected, Theresa May has survived the first of what is likely to be a string of no-confidence votes by 325 votes to 306, as the Tories reverted to type and chose party over country, with the help of the DUP. Not a single Tory voted against the government.

May has said she will conduct a series of meetings with other parties to try to find a solution, but this is meaningless as she is neither willing nor able to offer meaningful flexibility.

Former Labour MP John Woodcock, who unforgivably said he would not vote against the government, appears to have abstained. Other details of the division are expected soon.

Pundits are predictably already trying to blame Labour for May’s weakness – and several centrist MPs disgraced themselves today by touting their unattainable obsession instead of focusing on the business at hand, but Labour’s leadership has weakened the teetering government still further – and has exposed the arrogance and myopia of Tory MPs.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


    1. The central problem. As said yesterday – nothing much has changed, and the Tories were always going to win today’s vote, and it hasn’t done them any damage.

      It’s good that Corbyn is challenging May over ‘No Deal’ – but there is a lot more to be done to shape a coherent opposition position.

      1. “….. the Tories were always going to win today’s vote, and it hasn’t done them any damage.”

        Well yes, but the vote earlier this evening put paid to one Massive Lie – ie that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and the Labour Party is riddled with antisemites, AND that the smear campaign of the past three years or more since Jeremy was elected leader is precisely THAT. A smear campaign!

        The point being of course that if there WAS any substance to it all, AND JC really WERE an antisemite and the LP infested with antisemites, as the MSM et al would have the general public believe, then there is no way on this Earth that the Lib Dems and the SNP and Plaid Cymru and Caroline Lucas would have voted FOR the motion and WITH such a party.

        And the reason they DID – like every single other MP – is because they know that the whole thing is, and has been, contrived and manufactured to sabotage JC’s leadership and smear and demonise HIM and the Left in general.

        And I REPEAT: If there were any substance to it all, they would NOT have voted with JC and such a party, and the very least they would have done is abstained from voting.

      2. Alan – I’m really not sure that the ‘antisemitism’ scam had much to do with yesterday.

        On that front, I’m afraid that the Israeli hasbara fictions are far from eliminated from popular perception.

      3. RH: I think – in fact I KNOW – that you are more intelligent than THAT. But yet AGAIN, you feign to miss the crucial point I was making – ie that if JC really WAS an “existential threat” to Jews in this country, AND the Left of the LP really WAS infested with anti-semites etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, there is of course no way on Earth the Lib Dems et al would have voted WITH such a party (to bring down the Government and bring about a GE).

        So do you agree, or is there some OTHER explanation for why they supported JC’s motion (*OTHER* than the fact that they all know the whole “anti-semitism” thing is contrived and designed and manufactured to sabotage his leadership and, as such, is as good as non-existent.). Oh, I know, they’re all anti-semites as well. THAT would explain it, wouldn’t it.

        AND – just to drum the point home (although I know perfectly well that you understood what I was saying) – would the PM invite such a person to have discussions with her about ‘Brexit’. If he were REALLY the person he has been portrayed as being, he would be shunned by all of the parties. And YOU know it!

        And the reason he isn’t of course is because they know he is NOT.

        So please don’t pretend you didn’t see the significance of what I was pointing out, cos the more you do it, the more I’m edging towards concluding you are a shill.

        PS When was it you first started commenting on SB…… I seem to recall it was about four months ago?

    1. But there is no-one who is on borrowed time like Theresa May. The no confidence motion was lost this time, but the numbers voting for it were creditable, with May managing to achieve a very slender victory (a majority of just 19). This will melt away like snow in summer as soon as an inevitable further crisis hits her, probably as soon as next Monday, when it will become plain to all that due to May’s inflexibility no .Plan B’ will materialise.

      Corbyn will then be free to launch a further ‘no confidence’ motion. He has made clear that he believes there can be no meaningful Parliamentary negotiation on the terms under which the UK will leave the EU without a government guarantee that a ‘no deal’ Brexit is off the table. May’s unwillingness to concede this will make it abundantly clear to all that it is she and her Tory government that are standing in the way of a viable plan for the UK’s exit

      She is toast. It is about time she realised it and did the honourable thing.

  1. According to BBC news tonight, 100 Labour MPs back a second referendum. There isn’t and never will be a second referendum. Even for Tory remainers who hate Corbyn, supporting the biggest act of self harm by Liberal suicide bots in the history of the party, is a step too far.

    1. ‘Tory remainers’ ???? lundiel – I know the news takes time to get through to Fuller’s Earth – but it’s LEAVE that’s the official Tory position. As an ally of Rees Mogg’s position, you really should have caught up with that.

      1. Do you have any evidence for your accusations or is this just yet another example of you throwing your toys out of the pram.

        Personally I can recall a number occasions where RH has clearly expressed his support for Jeremy Corbyn.

        The balls in your court, I await your evidence with interest.

      2. Masmit 16/01/2019 at 9:44 pm

        Whilst I’m sure some may appreciate your contribution for its novelty value I must admit that I am finding it difficult to find any actual evidence in your mini rant.

      3. “You have to resort to sneering because you haven’t anything else except your impotency anger” she sneered.

      4. @masmit

        I’e got my suspicions but RH is definitely something ending in ‘ite’

        *Clue: begins with a ‘G’

      5. I love it when a lack of coherent counter-argument trips over its own shoe-laces and resorts to ad hominem bawling.

        Job done!

    2. lundiel 16/01/2019 at 7:41 pm

      There isn’t and never will be a second referendum.

      Are you seriously suggesting that the Labour Party should just ignore the composite motion agreed at conference.

      “If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote. If the Government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.

      So in the absence of anything remaining on the table, apart from the one item listed, then if not a second referendum then what next?

      1. More money has been spent campaigning for a second public vote than is spent on election campaigns. The majority of parliamentarians are against it, it is a last ditch option that no one wants apart from political parties that have no hope of gaining power. The Labour party understands this, you know it but it furthers your agenda to keep on calling for it.

      2. lundiel 16/01/2019 at 8:39 pm

        I appreciate that the Labour Party’s actual policy is inconvenient for your love-in with the ERG but can you give me any good reasons why as a loyal Labour Party member I shouldn’t support and campaign for the Labour Party’s policy on Brexit

      3. SteveH 16/01/2019 at 10:03 pm · ·
        Masmit 16/01/2019 at 9:44 pm

        Whilst I’m sure some may appreciate your contribution for its novelty value I must admit that I am finding it difficult to find any actual evidence in your mini rant.

        Is SteveH actually RH with this response to my comment.

      4. “Is SteveH actually RH with this response to my comment”

        No, Masmit – it’s just that the Labour Party is a somewhat bigger body than your religious belief system likes – and there’s a majority of us who don’t actually agree with your assertions.

  2. Goves vile speech at the end of tonight’s debate was made up,to a great degree,from the ammunition Corbyn hating Labour MPs had provided over the past two years. It is obvious that while these snakes retain their roles as purportedly Labour representatives a truly Socialist government is impossible.

    1. Sadly IMO we the membership lost that chance of a Socialist Govt when Lansman and Mcluskie pulled the support for Mandatory reselection and scuppered it . We cannot in reality move effectively to remove these shits who’d rather see a Tory Govt continue its murderous policies against the most vulnerable in Society , than have a JC lead Socialist Govt.

      1. It certainly hasn’t helped. CLPs that want to take action are impotent until the NEC gives them permission to start the dogs breakfast of a process that has been foisted on us.

  3. JC’s major mistake tonight IMHO was declaring that there could be no Brexit without a ‘deal’. Obviously fed to him by the ‘centrist-5th column’ , or whatever yuou want to call them, element of the party. You would never go into a negotiation by declaring you would insist in a ‘deal’ rather thank take action would you? It opens the other side to, you know what. Big mistake IMHO. Look who cornered JC into this position! Also noted the zionist (IGATS) slant made by Gove, despicable.

    1. …but opposing no deal is an integral part of the Labour Party’s policy that was agreed at this years Labour Conference

      Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal outcome.

      1. The comments here often have only a tangential relationship to Labour policy or Party, I note.

      2. @ SH
        There in lays the JC weakness.

        There is no such thing as ‘No Deal’. It is a made up phrase like ‘Crashing ourt, ‘Cliff Edge’. ‘Skyfall’ etc

        Who invented these phases and why?

        Refer back to the Conference for answers.

        Any link to the IGATS one wonders?

        What is JC’s position on the EU Army, and Eastward EU expansion?

        Indeed refer me to the Conference position on these important issues.

        All of these issues are Brexit related.

        JC is being hamstrung IMHO.

        Labour needs a clearout.

      3. Butties 16/01/2019 at 9:58 pm ·

        How relevant others will find your obsessions is debateable. I intend to continue supporting current Labour Party policy but whether you choose to do the same is entirely up to you.

      4. RH@The comments here often have only a tangential relationship to Labour policy or Party, I note.

        I take it you are not tarring everyone here with the same brush? .

      5. It’s good to see that Corbyn has it right yet again , as the leaders of the other parties are now insisting on NO deal to be off the table by Maybot prior to any cross party talks.

      6. “I take it you are not tarring everyone here with the same brush? ”

        Not at all – I did use the word ‘often’.

      7. The Labour Party Conference in September last year passed a motion pledging to keep all options on the table.

        Any trade unionist engaged in negotiations will tell you that in order to achieve reasonable concessions in any negotiation, you do not rule out the prospect of no deal at the very start. In a negotiation your opponents, whether they are an employer or a bloc of nations, need to be aware that you are prepared to walk away should expectations not be met. In ruling out the prospect of No Deal, a future Labour Government would risk losing all leverage.

        Put simply JC, by demanding the so called ‘no deal’ be taken off the table, has walked into a TRAP and in so doing has aligned himself with the likes of Hammond!

      8. Butties 17/01/2019 at 6:45 pm

        The Labour Party Conference in September last year passed a motion pledging to keep all options on the table.

        In view of the motion passed at conference it would be ludicrous to argue that ‘no deal’ was one of the mythical items left on the table along with the only item that was actually listed, a second referendum.

        I would argue that this is just about as unequivocal as one can get.
        “Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal outcome.”

        We heard lots from the Tories over 2 years ago about how they would leverage a good deal. They are still recovering from the shock they got when the penny finally dropped that they didn’t in reality have any cards to play with and their combative style had been treated with derision
        . . Hence where we are now.

        However. I think that if Labour ever gets the opportunity to negotiate a deal with the EU then they would achieve a better outcome because they would approach the negotiations with a different attitude and wouldn’t be constrained by May’s ‘Red Lines’.

      9. @SH
        where have you been these last 2+ years. There has been no negotiation with the EU unless you have been taken in by the Maybot.

        The motion was as stated.

        You can pluck sentences such as “Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal” but that was not in the motion that was passed.

        Everything should be on the Table. Interesting to see who has broken ranks in the Labour Party and been to see the Maybots crew.

        JC is wrong on this and you should admit it or explain your negotiation tactics with examples of how successful they have been in the past.

      10. You can pluck sentences such as “Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal” but that was not in the motion that was passed.

        That is self evidently untrue, the Composite Motion that was passed is a matter of record. Also I have quoted the full motion and not selectively picked out a few words as some others habitually do. I would have been more than happy to quote the full Composite Motion but I think you’ll acknowledge it is rather long.

        However, despite its length, in the interests of transparency I have reproduced it in full below so that you can reacquaint yourself with it. I have also highlighted the above motion that is self evidently part of it. It may also act as a aide-memoir for any subsequent comments you make on the subject.

        “Conference welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s determined efforts to hold the Tories to account for their disastrous negotiations. Conference accepts that the public voted to leave the EU, but when people voted to ‘take back control’ they were not voting for fewer rights, economic chaos or to risk jobs. Conference notes the warning made by Jaguar Land Rover on 11.9.18, that without the right deal in place, tens of thousands of jobs there would be put at risk.
        Conference notes that workers in industries across the economy in ports, food, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, energy, chemicals, in our public services and beyond are worried about the impact of a hard Brexit on livelihoods and communities.
        Conference believes we need a relationship with the EU that guarantees full participation in the Single Market. The Brexit deal being pursued by Theresa May is a threat to jobs, freedom of movement, peace in Northern Ireland and the NHS. Tory Brexit means a future of dodgy trade deals and American-style deregulation, undermining our rights, freedoms and prosperity. This binds the hands of future Labour governments, making it much harder for us to deliver on our promises. Conference notes Labour has set six robust tests for the final Brexit deal. Conference believes Labour MPs must vote against any Tory deal failing to meet these tests in full.
        Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal outcome. Conference notes that when trade unions have a mandate to negotiate a deal for their members, the final deal is accepted or rejected by the membership. Conference does not believe that such important negotiations should be left to government ministers who are more concerned with self-preservation and ideology than household bills and wages.
        Stagnant wages, crumbling services and the housing crisis are being exacerbated by the government and employers making the rich richer at working people’s expense, and not immigration. Conference declares solidarity and common cause with all progressive and socialist forces confronting the rising tide of neo-fascism, xenophobia, nationalism and right wing populism in Europe.

      11. Sorry SH but cannot find that motion wording on the web site. Can you quote the motion number please.

  4. Guardian news feed tonight: “Caroline Lucas, the former Green Party leader, has urged Jeremy Corbyn to hold a second referendum after his confidence motion was voted down.” I’m considering holding a second referendum tomorrow too except, if I can’t be bothered to get out of bed, I might ask my cat to do it for me.

  5. Mrs Mrs is attempting to blame the opposition for failing to tell her what would be acceptable In reality she has just wasted months on a deal that many in her own party told her was unacceptable. As she clearly did not listen to them how can anyone believe that she will listen to any other opposition party members.

    I dread to think what the financial cost to the UK is at a time when many are really struggling.

    Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a prime minister as out of touch with reality as Theresa May.

  6. It wasn’t with the help of the DUP. It was purely as a result of the 10 votes to the Tories instead of the 10 to Labour.

  7. May recognises the rank and file of the Tories want Brexit as do most Tory MP’s and politically wants to appease Tories whilst economically wants to appease TNC capital and the City of London.
    Hense the mirage of Leave but maintaining EC rules to please capital.
    Our approach – real leave and real left wing democratic socialist planning – democratic control of labour and capital supply.
    Neo-Liberalism is in structural decline in the USA and here it’s drive for cheap labour means the Neo-Liberal Tiger is eating its own tail.
    ‘The old order, Neo-Liberalism is dying.
    But the new cannot be born.
    Perhaps we are all being tested.
    And only the stars will ride the storm.’

  8. The result of this evening’s vote was of course a forgone conclusion, but it would never-the-less be interesting to know who the 19 MPs were who DIDN’T vote, AND the reason why they didn’t vote (12 of them anyway) – ie whether they abstained, or were unable to vote through illness. or whether they ‘twinned’ (I forget what it’s called), when two MPs who WOULD have voted For and Against cancel each-other out.

    Given that there were 325 that voted against, and given that there are 318 Tory MPs and 10 DUP MPs, then three of THEIR number didn’t vote, and of course the 7 Sinn Fein MPs NEVER attend Parliament and vote. So that leaves 9 MPs who are members of the parties who voted FOR (assuming I’ve got the arithmetic right). And IF that is correct, and they HAD voted with their respective parties, then THAT means there would only have been a majority of ONE for the Government.

    Could the reason the 9 who didn’t vote DIDN’T vote, be anything to do with the ‘fear’ that the 7 Sinn Fein MPs might just unexpectedly show up and vote for the motion?

    1. Right, I obviously got my arithmetic wrong, and there would have been a majority of TEN for the Government had the NINE voted with their respective parties, and a majority of THREE if Sinn Fein had showed up and voted for the motion, At least I THINK that’s what it amounts to, but please correct me if I’ve got it wrong again.

      1. I don’t think Sinn Fein could have possibly ‘shown up’ to vote for the motion.

        The reason why they do not take their seats is because to do so they would have to swear an oath of allegiance to Elizabeth Windsor and her heirs, which as Irish Republicans, they absolutely will not do.

    2. Hope this answers your questions


      “The Tories pulled an all-hands effort – getting all 314 of its available MPs through the division lobbies. It was also backed by all 10 DUP MPs, plus Independent Lady Sylvia Hermon.
      Labour almost managed the same, securing the support of 251 of its available MPs. The only one missing was Paul Flynn, who is away from Westminster on health grounds.
      Independent former Labour MPs Frank Field and Jared O’Mara backed the motion.
      Several independent MPs missed the vote – former Labour MP John Woodcock declared in advance he would never vote for Mr Corbyn.
      Also missing was Fiona Onasanya, who has been kicked out of Labour after being convicted of perverting the course of justice, and Ivan Lewis, who is suspended over harassment claims.”

  9. Under no circumstances should JC go anywhere near T May and be tainted by the Tories and their Brexit. They own it, they are stuck with it. We should not do anything to assist May to stay in power. It’s now time to go all out with the other Remain Parties to follow our Conference policy and go for a second referendum.

    1. Agreed – I can’t see any advantage in allowing the Tories to spread the blame for their complete and utter fuck-up. They created and nurtured it, let them own it.

    2. The reality is that the EU Referendum would never have happened but for the right-wing papers – ie the Sun, Mail, Express, Telegraph, and probably The Times. UKIP were as good as a non-entity back in 2010, but with the ‘help’ of the right-wing press they went from 919,546 votes and 3.1% share of the vote in 2010, to 3,881,099 votes and 12.6% share of the vote in 2015. Yes, that only led to ONE MP, but THAT is not the point. They quadrupled their share of the vote in the space of just five years, and it was THAT, and nothing else, which led – just months later – to Cameron announcing that an EU Referendum was going to be held. And it would never have happened without the ‘promotion’ of UKIP by the right-wing press during those five years.

      In other words, THEY – the right-wing papers – are responsible for the mess we now find ourselves in and for dividing the country, and they also, simultaneously, attacked and criticised the EU at every opportunity, and fraudulently so most of the time.

      And once UKIP had served its purpose for them, it quickly sunk back into oblivion.

      1. “The reality is that the EU Referendum would never have happened but for the right-wing papers ”

        This is the truth that dare not speak its name. Listen to a selection of vox pops over the past couple of years, and you will hear massive repetition of propaganda lines from the bog-paper press.

    3. A second referendum would be a complete betrayal of an electorate that has already voted to leave the EU. It is also a diversionary tactic.

      Whatever the outcome of any further referendum, we would still be stuck with this heinous Tory government and its crimes again the people of this nation. They are venal and incompetent, and whether Leave or Remain were to prevail, they would make a complete and utter fist of it, destroying millions of lives in the process.

      No, what we need is an immediate General Election. May is veering from crisis to crisis and her Brexit ‘plan’ was roundly rejected by MPs yesterday. The only hope of saving jobs and services in the UK is for a Corbyn Labour government to be elected. As a new administration, it can then enter talks with the EU on the basis of a break that nevertheless retains a full customs union to preserve jobs and living standards in both Britain and the European mainland.

      1. Whenever I see the words ‘complete betrayal’, I know I’m reading delusory bullshit straight out of the ERG playbook.

  10. 400 constituencies voted leave, 250 remain.
    Another Peoples Vote and Labour snatches defeat from the jaws of victory!
    Need socialist analysis and planning.

    1. Constituencies don’t vote.

      “Another Peoples Vote and Labour snatches defeat from the jaws of victory!”

      errr … let’s get real and precise. I know the troops sometimes need a bit of sustaining bullshit …. but what ‘victory’? Last I saw, the Tories were still in power (despite everything) and May is still PM (despite everything). And no general election is on the cards.

      … and the right-wing Tory policy of Brexit is still distracting from other matters and going ahead.

      Let’s try for a real victory.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: