May chickens out of desperate confidence vote plan to force MPs to back her

May was expected to tell Cabinet meeting this morning that further defeat of her deal will trigger general election but meeting has now been shortened

Theresa May was expected to tell her Cabinet this morning that she would make the next vote on her deal a formal confidence vote in a desperate attempt to force Tory MPs to back her abysmal Brexit deal.

Making the issue a confidence matter would mean a government loss would bring down the government under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), triggering a 14-day countdown to the announcement of a general election if no one could form a government within that period able to win a new confidence vote.

Today’s Cabinet meeting was expected to last five hours to accommodate May’s unspecified ‘big move’ that was flagged last night. However, the meeting has now reverted to a more typical three hours – suggesting that she has backed down from her planned brinkmanship.

However, the confidence issue is likely to be taken out of her hands, with Labour planning a new no-confidence motion at the earliest suitable moment and certainly following any further defeat for May’s deal.

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  1. SB
    I seem to remember that you once published an excellent cartoon of Theresa May as a chicken. Time for a revival perhaps.

    1. To quote TB from the link.
      “If we stand in a reasonable position, where you have many Conservative voters voters that will feel repelled by a Boris Johnson premiership, particularly after the part he’s played in Brexit, but you’ve got to be in a position where those people feel it’s safe to vote for you.”

      That’s OK then.

      I think that most of us can agree that an update of our last manifesto and the accompanying left of centre message is where we need to be.

      1. The Lib Dems eagerly await your centrist vote

      2. It is unfortunate that you have to align yourself with people like this to achieve your objectives.

        A few weeks ago we reported that Facebook’s political transparency measures were under scrutiny after Britain’s Future, a shadowy pro-Brexit group, became the biggest-spending political advertiser on the platform all the while its funding source remains a mystery.

      3. Never voting labour again 02/04/2019 at 1:06 pm · ·

        The Lib Dems eagerly await your centrist vote

        I like the vast majority of Labour supported the 2017 manifesto, didn’t you?

      4. Interesting take on that Steve and I am unsure if you are in favour of Blairs stance or not ( sarcasm perhaps ? ) .
        IMO trying to attract those Tory voters would mean the ditching of the very radical ( by today’s standards ) elements of the manifesto .And as you know the reason why so many turned to Labour with that manifesto in the first place in 2017 . Blair’s above statement I think try’s to reposition us back to NULabour and the third failed way of Centrist policies aimed at the middle class middle ground .
        The risk IMO is loosing many more traditional Labour voters trying to attract some not particularly loyal Tory ones.
        Lessons learned one hopes from the result in Scotland .

      5. rob 02/04/2019 at 2:57 pm

        Broadly I agree with your comment and like you I am no fan of Blair.

        The only agreement I have with Blair is strictly limited to the direct quote I gave. I was trying to highlight that we had attracted a large number of new voters in 2017 with a well received left of centre manifesto and I was trying to express that the best way forward was more of the same in the form of an updated 2017 manifesto. I am not advocating a shift to either to right or the left, I believe that the 2017 manifesto struck the right balance and will do so again. We will attract more voters with a slightly enhanced version of more of the same.

      6. If you supported the manifesto, why are you so determined to stop brexit?

      7. Never voting labour again 02/04/2019 at 3:40 pm

        If you supported the manifesto, why are you so determined to stop brexit?


        Is that your killer question?

        I would have thought that was obvious to even you. Politics, commerce and society don’t stand still. A lot has happened since 2017 and it may have escaped your notice but Labour unanimously agreed a new policy on Brexit at conference, which is where policy is decided.

      8. Steve sorry miss interpreted your first comments ( I was unsure if you were using sarcasm for Blair ) and agree with your sentiments re more of the same please 😉

    2. Tony Blair can fuck right off. Better to crash and burn the party on a left-wing manifesto at the next election than let that mob take over again!

      1. That translates as ‘My second preference is to vote for the ERG and assorted right-wing extremists’

      2. And there it is, finally.
        That translates as ‘My second preference is to vote for the ERG and assorted right-wing extremists.’
        translates as:
        “Vote instead for a Blair Mk.II figure who, cloaking himself in the same faux socialism, will enable the 1% to complete the hijacking of democracy almost as quickly as they would under an ERG Torygov. That way we might be able to postpone actual socialism indefinitely.”

      3. No. If it’s ” Better to crash and burn the party”, Labour is fucked by its purported supporters who are effectively Tory supporters.

        I know Brexit rots the brain – but mine – almost equally irascible – can still discriminate between the pretty loathsome nulabour lot and the utterly loathsome ERG crew.

        … and politics is about practical choices.

      4. No. Socialist politics is about finding policies that are practical in terms of fitness for purpose and then convincing the electorate of their worth – not ‘practical’ in terms of what got most ticks from a focus-grouped representative sample of the electorate.
        Expedience was the snake-oil salesman Blair’s perception of politics.
        Nothing to do with socialism.

        Centrists/moderates/fence sitters need to be waterboarded until they explain which little tweak or slight adjustment to capitalism will appreciably slow – much less stop or reverse – the rise of inequality.
        Hint: NOTHING they will EVER propose will prevent the 1% eventually owning everything we presently own and renting it back to us.

    3. Absolutely brilliant! Our lead in the polls will rocket – every time this awful man condemns Jeremy Corbyn , Jeremy’s popularity increases the rationale being if Tony doesn’t like him then he must be a decent man and doing something right!

      1. Errr … it doesn’t work like that. Whilst Blair has only marginal credibility, that doesn’t translate into the opposite sentiment for Corbyn.

        I have noted John Curtice’s analysis elsewhere :

        “Perceptions of how well Jeremy Corbyn has been handling Brexit have become increasingly negative.”

      2. It does indeed work that way RH as evidenced by the outcome of Tony Blair’s interventions during the leadership elections. That ‘s why the Blairites have started wheeling out other alleged ” grandees” rather than Blair himself when they are out to undermine Jeremy.
        In relation to Brexit the vast majority of people rightly lay the blame for this fiasco at Theresa May’s door. Any dip in Jeremy’s popularity will be quickly rectified once a general election is called and the MSM is required to be impartial.

  2. Unionworker’s comment to that article is well worth reading:

    So although Labour is leading in the polls, Corbyn has built the biggest left party in Europe, in the last general election he achieve the largest vote since WW2 and Labour polcies have been proved popular with the electorate Blair suggests we ditch him for a centrist like they did in Scotland and lose almost every seat as we did in Scotland following his advise.

    Sorry Tony, stick with advising your dictators and billionaires and leave us to choose our own party leader

  3. Stop the cult of personality – in both the positive and negative senses.

    “Corbyn has built the biggest left party in Europe”

    No he didn’t – he provided a member-led focus. And that was good. It was waiting to happen. But he ain’t he Messiah, and I’m worried that :

    “Perceptions of how well Jeremy Corbyn has been handling Brexit have become increasingly negative. ” (Analysis by John Curtice)

    Blair is an irrelevancy.

    1. I understand your desire for a halt to the ” cult of personality ” RH but unfortunately the cult of personality is very much what a lot of Joe Voting Public shallowly looks to .I am sure a person of your intellect would appreciate this .
      In many instances they are not all that fully informed as is evidenced by some of the working class believing a Tory vote is good for them. Some base their decisions on personality perceptions derived from sound bite TV clips.
      IMO Corbyn unlike Blair is a genuine honest person ( as far as one can be ) , Blair is simply a liar ( Dodgy Dossier WMD ) , and Blair is very much relevant in the perceptions battle as is Watson .Their attacks on Labour should be resisted and countered by positive balancing views emanating from within Labour , not as blind “cult worship ” as the MSM like to portray as that is exactly what their perception game is .
      Solidarity wins divided falls , the end game I think we all want is a Democratic Socialist Govt lead by JC . I don’t know or trust any others with that lead , perhaps John McDonnell and it’s very clear that is not what Blair or his cohorts want .

  4. “IMO Corbyn unlike Blair is a genuine honest person”

    I am absolutely with you on that. And, of course it’s what gave him that initial boost, along with his advocacy of genuinely progressive policies.

    He has also suffered the most intense antagonistic and dishonest propaganda campaign that I can remember.

    However : two things. Firstly, Brexit would have tested anyone – especially someone new to a leadership role. Secondly, leadership does require different skills to those of a back-bench radical – even without the antagonism.

    With all my essential agreement and natural sympathy, I think that the Brexit issue has not shown great strategy, despite some tactical successes early on. One of the worst aspects has been that it has given the right more credibility than they deserve whilst alienating core Labour voters.

    Unfortunately, the Blair years essentially created the PLP that we now have and – as in so many organisations that have been denuded of talent – a clear succession is hard to see.

    1. Again – if not Corbyn, who? Which is the talent whose name must remain unspoken? If you believe there is none, why exactly are you here, RH?
      Johnsons’s being touted as the likely next PM if Mexit happens – I suspect His Fluffiness might last no more than two or three PMQ’s.
      Not exactly great on the hard questions, is he?
      Gutted weekly it’ll soon be obvious there’s nothing of substance in the man – that ‘populist clown’ isn’t just a face he pulls for the cameras.

      Oh – and genuine honesty gives one more than an ‘initial boost’ – unlike fake honesty, rehearsed sincerity, spin and malpractice, which get you caught lying over WMD’s and such.
      Genuine honesty and no-fingers-crossed socialism give one a solid, always-defensible position and lifelong credibility.

      1. ” … if not Corbyn, who?”

        I’m not suggesting a replacement. Only the need for a learning process in some crucial areas.

        In the medium term, the need for succession is just a fact, and I’ve simply commented on the worrying state of the PLP in this context.

        You say ‘Johnson [is] being touted as the likely next PM.’

        I think the balance has tilted against him. But the fact that the idea isn’t laughed out of court is a serious indictment of the state of things.

        ” genuine honesty gives one more than an ‘initial boost’ “. A misinterpretation : I’m simply saying that this was an important factor in the attractiveness to many people of Corbyn’s approach that led to his success in polling.

        But – to return to Johnson – it’s unwise to underestimate the enemy. Remember – he’s been a patently devious lying, bastard for longer than Corbyn’s been leader. And he’s still popular.

  5. Above all, I see little chance of the Tories committing themselves to a general election. May wasn’t playing ‘chicken’ – she was just doing the obvious from a Tory perspective..

    1. Agreed re the election but hoooo boy we can but dream 🙂
      Corbyn I feel is adding to his leadership experience and that takes time , as you say Brexit was / is one hell of a test and because he doesn’t generally do “the dictatorship thing role ” , then it’s harder to achieve the end result .
      As to the PLP well …. I guess time will help us on the Left to either remove those who will not change and persuade those who can and want to ( not many I fear).
      Upcoming talent to replace JC ,,,, good grief , stumped ,, we need time ,more time to see what develops .

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