Boris Johnson has suffered his fourth defeat in a row, with his attempt to use the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) to set a general election date before he is forced by MPs to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
The vote was 298 for and 56 against – but as the FTPA requires a two-thirds majority of Parliament’s 650 MPs to vote for it, Johnson was defeated again.
Johnson attempted to capitalise, claiming it was the first time in history an Opposition had voted confidence in the government – but this was an outright lie.
Labour abstained – as did the SNP – in order not to gift Johnson the general election on his terms that he wants – and didn’t ‘vote confidence’ at all.
Just as importantly, an FTPA vote is not a confidence vote. If it was, then 284 Tories and 10 DUP MPs just voted no confidence in him – and 522 MPs including every Tory also voted no-confidence in Theresa May in 2017.
So on both counts, Johnson lied. That didn’t prevent most of the corporate media and a string of commentators repeating it to cover for the fact that he was again outmanoeuvred by Jeremy Corbyn, of course – but what’s new.
Johnson may still try to bring simple legislation to try to bypass the FTPA with an ordinary majority, as the SKWAWKBOX was the first to flag – but based on today his chances of winning that are no better until Labour and other MPs have closed off Johnsons route to a no-deal Brexit.
Just don’t expect him to be honest about it.
Theresa May’s title as the worst PM in history hasn’t lasted long.
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