Government survives Corbyn’s confidence vote by 19 votes

The government has survived Jeremy Corbyn’s no-confidence vote tonight, with 325 MPs voting against the motion and 306 voting in favour.

Making a point of order in the House of Commons after the result was announced, Theresa May invited opposition party leaders to discuss the next steps for Brexit.

In response, the Labour leader called on the Prime Minister to rule out the possibility of ‘no deal’, a move his spokesperson later described as the necessary “starting point” for any “substantive talks”.

Corbyn is willing to meet with the Prime Minister, and contacts have already been made, the spokesperson confirmed, but no meaningful discussions will be had between them on Brexit until ‘no deal’ is taken off the table.

Speaking in the chamber, the SNP and Lib Dems agreed to engage in cross-party talks with the government, and have asserted similar red lines to those of Labour for the discussions.

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds said the confidence vote highlighted the importance of the confidence-and-supply agreement in place, while Labour MPs made a gesture in his direction indicating money.

All Labour MPs voted against the government, as well as former PLP members Frank Field, Jared O’Mara and Kelvin Hopkins, who voted with Labour.

Ex-Labour MPs John Woodcock, Ivan Lewis and Fiona Onasanya, who now sit as Independents, abstained on the vote.

Woodcock, who quit the Labour Party in July 2018 amid a disciplinary case against him, had indicated in his Commons speech during the no-confidence debate that he would be voting with the government against the motion.

Michael Gove, who closed the debate for the Prime Minister, congratulated Woodcock on his speech, saying: “It takes courage, and he has it… to say that the leader of the party you joined as a boy is not fit to be Prime Minister.”

The Environment Secretary also accused deputy leader Tom Watson of believing that Corbyn is “the worst possible person to lead the Labour Party”.

In his opening speech made to move the motion, Corbyn said of the government: “Last week they lost a vote on the Finance Bill. That what’s called supply. Yesterday they lost a vote by biggest margin ever. That what’s regarded as confidence.

“By any convention of this House, by any precedent, the loss of confidence and supply should mean they do the right thing and resign.”

Corbyn’s spokesperson did not rule out tabling another motion of no-confidence in the government at a later date, possibly before the Prime Minister has returned to parliament with a substantive ‘Plan B’ for Brexit.

More from LabourList

Donate to fund our journalism


Subscribe to our Daily Email