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Righti ho, back again. Bit more Commons drama, misery, larks, constitutional murder mystery. Kicks off about now and you can follow here…
Not really a mystery I suppose. We know who did it.
Order paper is here to see what's coming up. Kicks off with education questions.…
Who even is the education secretary, I've forgotten.
Oh God Gavin Williamson.
Like someone conjured up halitosis in human form.
At the end of the day, which may be really quite late, parliament will go into prorogation. That'll be it, until late October.
Once upon a time this was viewed as a way to silence MPs and force through no-deal. In fact it has had the opposite effect. MPs have passed a rebel bill forcing the PM to extend Article 50 on Oct 19th.
So the prorogation is now more of a detriment to Boris Johnson than it is to MPs. Although no-one's exactly a winner. Parliament is being shut down at one of the most crucial moments in modern British political history.
Education questions will go on for an hour. Williamson has said one sentence so far and he is already incredible annoying.
After that there'll be two attempts to hold Standing Order 24 emergency debates - what was once constitutionally unusual is now fast becoming standard practice.
The first is from rebel MP Dominic Grieve, trying to prise out information about who knew what when about the prorogation plan.
The second is from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the govt's I-might-mate-but-on-the-other-hand-I-might-not approach to the law.
Then there's five motions on Northern Ireland, each of up to 90 mins each. These could once have been key moments in preventing no-deal. Rebel MPs passed these motions to ensure parliament could have a voice regardless of prorogation.
Now, because of the rebel legislation, they're less vital. Then there'll be a debate on Lord's amendments to the plan to restore parliament. And then finally, after all that, the govt will attempt to hold another vote on a general election.
I'm not entirely sure that debate will even take place. Earlier in the year, when Theresa May kept trying to bludgeon her deal through, Speaker John Bercow stopped her on the basis that you can't keep on putting the same motion forward over and over until you win.
He may do that again. Or he may decide that, because the rebel bill on an extension has passed, the circumstances have changed sufficiently to allow the govt another go.
Doesn't really matter, because it'll fail either way. Opposition parties have confirmed they'll vote against.
Basically, this is all going to go on for a long time. The things which will definitely happen: Parliament will be suspended. The rebel bill will get Royal Assent. The PM will not get his election.
Things which might happen: The request for a vote on the election attempt may or may not be allowed. The two SO24 emergency debates may or may not be granted.
I think Grieve's SO24 has a much greater chance than Corbyn's. It is specific, not just a request for a chat, and it concerns the prorogation, so it goes to the heart of parliament's ability to have a voice in politics.
Coming up to emergency debate time. Here is a good explainer for why Grieve is leading an attack on who knew what about prorogation…
Basically, it is extremely curious that the govt did not submit a witness statement from a senior official or minister in the legal cases against prorogation.
There are several reasons this might have happened. Here are two of the more serious possibilities which MPs are concerned about, as described by @davidallengreen
@davidallengreen Before the SO24 debates, there's going to be a statement by the Speaker. Interesting. Bercow is being threatened by the Tories, who are going to run against him in his seat at the next election, against convention.
Meanwhile, the rebel bill is now a Rebel Act: it has Royal Assent is now law.
Bercow making a statement now.
Says it is a "personal statement". Says at th 2017 election he promised his wife and children it would be his last. "This is a pledge that I intend to keep". Shit.
He says if the House votes for an early election, his tenure as Speaker will end when the House ends. If it does not, then he will stand down at the close of business on Thursday October 31st
Hahah incredible.
With that out the way, Bercow is nearly mocking the govt bench. "We wouldn't ant anyone to be whipped senseless would we?"
Looks pointedly at Tory benches and says: "Throughout my time as Speaker I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone anywhere at any time."
Suddenly becomes emotional. Thanks "above all my wife Sally and our three children." Looks up to them in the gallery, tears in his eyes. Applause in the Chamber.
"This is a wonderful place, filed overwhelmingly by people who are motivated by their notion of the national interest, by their perception of the public good and by their duty - not as delegates, but as representatives - to do what they believe is right for our country."
"We degrade this parliament at our peril."
It's a remarkable speech.
"I have served as a member of parliament for 22 years and for the last ten as Speaker. This has been, let me put it explicitly, the greatest privilege and honour of my professional life, for which I will be eternally grateful."
He calls for next Speaker to stand up for MP individually "and for parliament institutionally as the Speaker of the House of Commons."
The House rises to give him a standing ovation - but not the govt benches. Then rebel former Tory MPs get up. But the govt benches remain studiously seated.
A pointed moment. What would in any other era have been a perfectly normal speech celebrating parliament and traditional British democratic norms, suddenly sounds radical.
The govt's refusal to get up highlights not just Tory hatred of Bercow, but the fact we are in the throws of a severe constitutional crisis, where parliament is viewed as an enemy of the executive.
Bercow tells Corbyn they were once quite similar. "Certainly speaking for myself I found I had a relationship with my whips characterised by trust and understanding. I didn't trust them and they didn't understand me."
Gracious speech for the govt from Michael Gove.
"Those of us on this side of the House might have bridled at some of the judgements that you made but I have never been in any doubt that you've operated on the basis that the executive must be answerable to this House in the same way as this House is answerable to the people."
Hilary Benn tells the Speaker he "regrets and respects" his decision. Goes on: "When the history books come to be written, you will be described as one of the great performing Speakers of the House of Commons."
This is correct. There will be those in the next few hours who will mock Bercow for politicising the role. They fundamentally do not understand what the role is.
There hasn't been a more important period for there to be a strong-minded Speaker in our lifetime, and arguably since 1642. It was a very great fortune that this period coincided with his time in the chair.
Grieve: "You may recall that when you were first elected Speaker I think I was the only person in the Chamber who didn't stand to applaud you. My preferences lay elsewhere."
"As the years have gone by I have come to appreciate that in the extraordinary times in which we live, your leadership of this House has been in my judgement exemplary."
From Peter Bone, an MP I very rarely quote approvingly. "You have been an extraordinary Speaker and an outstanding Speaker. Over the last few week I very much disagree with your interpretation of certain standing orders. But for 14 yeas you have transformed this place."
Worth remembering that on numerous occasions, before and after the referendum, Bercow stood up for the eurosceptic backbenchers on the government benches.
This is also what makes it so absurd when he accused of being some kind of Remainer saboteur.
Bercow: "The hon gen speaks from personal experience as a parliamentarian always ready to speak truth to power. I identify with him. What he said, not least in light of some of his recent disagreements with me, is big of him."
BTW I'd be pretty keen on Harriet Harman for the replacement. Think, if I remember correctly, she once suggested she might want it.
Rather incredible moment. Bercow celebrates Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker, who is quite genuinely - and I say this an atheist - one of the most remarkable people in parliament.
She is quite remarkable. It's like the sun shines out of her face.
Bercow points her out in the under gallery then nearly breaks down in tears. "A source of comfort and inspiration to me in the last nine years."
He points out that when he insisted she was appointed, a "bigot faction" complained. "I was right, they were wrong, the House loves her".
This is going on quite a bit now, on top of an already packed schedule. No-one is ever going home.
Bercow is now free and he is acting like it sweet Jesus. Says of his detractors in the press: "They'll scribble their bigoted drivel.
"They'll tell their grandchildren - well what did you do? Well I scribbled by bigoted drivel for some downmarket apology for a newspaper."
"Trashy articles by trashy journalists for trashy newspapers." Blimey.
The man don't give a fuck people. He's off the leash.
Grieve up for his SO24 emergency debate
"The House is about to be prorogued. We are not going to have an opportunity to ask searching questions about the govt's motives in proroguing this House & the potential difference between what they have said in public and what the evidence suggests is the reality."
Bercow gives it the green light. We're on.
He checks with the House, the Labour benches rise as one. One Tory MP screams "no" over and over again. Not enough to stop it.
Corbyn asks for his SO24 emergency debate.
Bercow: "Adherence to the law. Goodness. Yes. I am satisfied that the matter raised on the last day before the prorogation of this parliament is proper to be discussed."
This bloke is not going gently into that good night.
God it's going to be a long night.
Grieve up.
He's got his death stare on.
"If our constitution, which is largely unwritten, is to function, there must be a deep level of trust in how our affairs are conducted."
Reminder of what he's doing here. Grieve is going to use a 'humble address' to get communication about prorogation, including WhatsApp, text messages etc, from key people around the PM, including special advisor Dominic Cummings & director of legislative affairs Nikki da Costa.
Letwin intervenes. He says govt could have used periodic adjournment, approved by Commons, to same effect. But it used prerogative power.
This removed parliament from the scene of action. "It is obviously therefore of the greatest possible importance what the govt's motive therefore was. The papers he's describing will reveal that motive in a way nothing else can."
Letwin and Grieve like sharks circling around the govt position.
Grieve says it was clear the House would not have consented to adjourn for conferences, because of the severity of the no-deal deadline. The PM knew this.
The PM said during his leadership fight that "I am not attracted to archaic devices like proroguing." Grieve goes on: "That is where the trust comes in."
The govt, he says, has not given a consistent account of its reasons. On Aug 23rd No.10 denied the idea of prorogation, but documents show that ten days beforehand, it was already under consideration.
Grieve approaching this like a criminal trial.
Some fire going on in this shit right now.
Johnson condemned Cameron for being a 'girly swot'. "Which I suppose was meant to be contrasted with his manly idleness."
Angela Eagle: "Democracy requires a certain commitment to the truth. This loosening of current administration's mooring from a commitment to tell the truth is a direct threat to democracy."
Grieve: "It is this which concerns me so much."
The rumours are that when litigation was brought against govt, there was a desire to set out why it was pursued. But when the Treasury solicitors dept sought to find the official willing to compose an affidavit "no such official could be found willing to swear to the affidavit."
He was then given information from public officials "informing me that they believed the handling of this matter smacked of scandal."
He cannot prove this, but says the sources are reliable and that it is extremely unusual that those officials would approach him like this.
Grieve says the he's been told that there's plenty of evidence that the prorogation was to silence parliament in order to secure no-deal.
Labour MP Barry Sheerman: "I've been in this House for 40 years. I've never heard of a more serious allegation against a government."
Grieve reminds everyone these are just allegations. He wouldn't make them, and would pursue other avenues, but because prorogation was about to take place, he had no option but to pursue this path.
He has selected in his list of individuals where he thinks "the answers are to be found".
Tory MP Owen Paterson asks why those particular individuals. Grieve says the list was originally longer and at one point included senior civil servants. Then he narrowed it.
"The origins of this story does not lie with public officials, it lies with the special advisers to ministers. And for that reason the list is as well directed as I think it can be."
Now on Yellowhammer - the leak of no-deal prep by the govt. The govt originally said it was prepared for the previous administration. But in fact it seems it was for the existing administration.
He wants these disclosed too. For the record, at last week's Brexit committee heating Michael Gove said it was for existing administration but that many of the findings had been carried over from previous documents for the May administration.
Attorney general Geoffrey Cox has his head right back, chewing the arms of his glasses, looking like he is not sure what he had done in a previous life to deserve this.
Gove tries to push Grieve into accepting his assurances about future publication instead of his demand for full transparency, Grieve pushes his efforts aside.
Benn, chair of the committee where he gave the assurances, reads out what he promised: it would be released once there was "proper revision". Benn suggesting Gove should be supporting Grieve, not the other way round.
Grieve: "The great difficulty that e now have in this House is this terrible compelling sense that trust is eroding."
Labour MP Chris Leslie tells Grieve that No.10 is currently briefing reporters that "under no circumstances will No10 staff comply with Grieve's demands regardless of any votes in parliament". Extraordinary.
Grieve says this is the problem. These utterances bear no relation to the functioning of the British constitution.
"It's impossible to know whether they're froth, whether they're Mr Cummings' thoughts, or whether in fact they represent some settled policy view of government in which case this country is facing frankly a revolutionary situation.,"
He warns of an "atmosphere of confrontation" which is "ratcheted up, slowly undermining the institutions which are the only props of legitimacy".
Cox up. Asks what legal right the govt has to demand its staff publish private communications.
Grieve: "These are govt employees. And it is their duty to comply with the civil service code including not using private means of communication to carry out official business."
Cox says Grieve is refining the request only to priate communications which ought to have been carried out as official business. He says this is a blunt instrument which needs refining further.
It risks trespassing on fundamental rights of individuals. Grieve disagrees. "The issue is clearly defined - it relates to the prorogation of parliament".
He points out that Cox's argument is different to No.10's. He;s arguing the govt can;t get the information. But No.10 is saying "it won't even seek to provide it".
Grieve wraps up. He accepts it's difficult and finding a finely tailored instrument would be hard at any time. But "the nature of what has happened and the immediacy of the crisis requires this motion and I commend it to the House".
That was one of the most remarkable statements I've ever seen made to the Commons.
Labour Brexit secretary Keir Starmer up. Like a lawyers' militia armed with knives.
"It's blindingly obvious why we're being closed down. We're being closed down to stop scrutiny and in an attempt to prevent this House expressing a view on no-deal."
Joanna Cherry, SNP, who was part of the litigation against prorogation, is up.
"Something is very much awry with the reasons given for prorogation."
Documents lodged with Scottish court last week and released to the public against Got wishes revealed the PM approved the plan on Aug 16th, but they were still denying on Aug 25th that there was any such plan.
In pleadings lodged by govt in response to the legal case they referred to it as "hypothetical and academic".
When Amber Russ resigned this weekend, it became clear there are no negotiations going on with the EU, again strengthening argument that the prorogation is to stop parliament stopping no-deal.
First @JolyonMaugham and now @davidallengreen being cited in the Commons. We're watching the legitimacy of the constitutional system fall down around our ears people.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen "The govt didn't provide a witness statement, no sworn affidavit, simply some documents heavily redacted without some covering explanation. The absence of such a statement in litigation such as this was, as @davidallengreen says, "very conspicuous".
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Sources told her that key figures in No.10 have been communicating "about the real reasons for prorogation using personal emails, WhatsApp, and burner phones, which are phones normally used by people involved in a criminal enterprise."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen "If this is true, they will have adopted a subterfuge. and there can only be one reason for that subterfuge and that would be to conceal the real reasons for prorogation from this House and the courts."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen "It was secret unaccountable whispers of poison that brought down Edward II and Richard II and I suspect this PM will be brought down by secret unaccountable whispers of poison as well."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Michael Gove now responding for the government.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen He says the submission upon which the PM made his decision was made public "following a duty of candour". Heh.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Lady Hermon: "The sec of state for Northern Ireland made it clear he had not been consulted by the PM about the plan for prorogation."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen "Where we have a sec of state for NI facing a perfect storm of possibility of no-deal and no functioning assembly, how can it possibly be that the PM had a paper which he didn't even share with the Cabinet?"
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Gove: "It is the case that submissions that would go to the PM would not normally be submitted to the whole of the Cabinet."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen He says they;re now being asked to give not just those submissions, but any communication made by these civil servants. "There should be a safe space for the advice that civil servants give."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Gove, responding to shouts of 'you;re scared of the truth from SNP MPs: "I'm not scared of the truth. Alex Salmond was scared of the truth. Which is why he spent my mum and dad's money to hide the truth."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Weirdest shit anyone's said so far today.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Gove saying it;s a fishing expedition. Goes against data protection law. Threatens Article 8 of ECHR. "Do members realise what they are doing?"
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Chaos in the Commons. Gove won't take interventions. "No, no no, no."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Gives way to Grieve. "Would he like to explain why it is no affidavit was filed by any official relating to the circumstances in which prorogation was decided on?"
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Gove dodges. "The question before the House is this....."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Massive waves of groans and complaints. "I am answering the question."
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen "We know what his concerns are. But are we willing in order to satisfy his curiosity" to overturn data legislation etc?
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Bercow stops him. Times up.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Division. MPs go off to vote.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen Remarkable that debate ended with Gove refusing outright to even attempt to answer Grieve's question.
@JolyonMaugham @davidallengreen The result should be a defeat for the govt, given that, you know, they have dismantled their own majority.
Ayes 311
Noes 302
Quite a small majority, actually.
Corbyn now up for his emergency debate.
Not a bad statement by Corbyn. He grows by virtue of the things he's opposing.
Soubrey: Why isn't the attorney general or a law officer answering for the govt?
Govt doesn't go anywhere near that. Peter Bone gets up instead.
We're not getting very far with this as you may imagine.
After the very specific debate on releasing the prorogation information, this can't help but sound quite vague and meandering in comparison.
While it all goes on, here is my piece on Bercow's resignation.
Bercow resignation: He was the right man in the right place at the right time…
Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid) says an old Spectator article when Johnson was editor said impeachment remains a mechanism which can be used in desperate times. "are these not desperate times?"
Ian Blackford (SNP): "Absolutely they are. And I say to the PM: Be very careful. Be very careful."
Wouldn't take any of that too seriously btw.
Most of the arguments from govt benches amount to: if you do this it could have unintended consequences in future.
Would those consequences include a government silencing parliament to pursue an extreme economic and political policy while threatening that it was above the law? Because if not it doesn't seem that alarming a prospect.
Jo Swinson: "Let that sink in. The govt has let the House of Commons be in genuine doubt about whether they will respect a law that has passed through this Chamber and received Royal Assent."
Really rather tired now. Droning on in parliament seemingly forever, like someone who fell asleep with their stereo turned up to 80.
Same points made over and over again. They're currently discussing a People's Vote, which, regardless of your view on it, is not really on topic.
How will I endure I wonder. The answer has to be alcoholic. It's either that or something harder.
Current and former Labour MPs now squabbling about Corbyn. Quite epic in its pointlessness, given the circumstances.
Madeleine Moon (Lab): "Across Europe, people are tuning into this House and watching how both the Speaker and this parliament have fought back against the overweening power of an executive which has tried to close down debate."
"That is a true democracy and it;s why we're here tonight fighting the way we are."
Great name, Madeleine Moon. Sounds like a Stan Lee character.
Another Brexiter MP shambling on about how their voters want them to 'get on with it'.
I mean, even after all this time, the sheer stupidity of that point, especially by an MP, still resonates. The question is how, you dreadful nitwit.
Oh Good, and now Dominic Rabb fuck my life.
"This govt will always respect the rule of law. That's been our clear position [no it hasn't] and frankly it's outrageous that is even in doubt [yes it is]."
Rabb now suggesting that he and others have only been ambivalent about this because they know there might be a judicial review. Disingenuous bollocks.
All decisions ministers take are subject to judicial review. You don't see ministers saying: 'Well we're going to pass this law, but people are free to either follow it or not.'
I have had dead flakes of skin fall off my body with a more robust intellectual composition than the foreign secretary.
And why in the name of Christ the foreign secretary is answering this is beyond me. Soubrey was right to raise that.
Right, we're on to something else.
The debate ends with a verbal vote on whether it took place. Yes I know that sounds insane. But anyway, there's no vote on it, we're off on more business.
Oh they;re rattling through the Northern Ireland motions without moving them. Thank the lord our god.
I was fearing 90 minutes on all of those little bastards.
Sob. They have moved Section 3(2) of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act.
Should have shut up. Shouldn't have said anything.
This is the order paper. After this we still have the debate on the parliamentary renovation. Then the vote on an election. Then prorogation.
They made me do it
Lisa Forbes, the new Labour MP for Peterborough, is making her maiden speech.
"I do hope that anyone growing up in Peter borough today and know that whatever their gender or class, race or religion, they deserve the opportunity to succeed. We are a diverse city and our representation should be so too."
Not a bad speech. Maiden speeches are hard and hardest of all on nights like tonight. It's also quite pleasant the way MPs are terribly supportive when someone makes one.
That's over. Commons now debating Lords amendments to the parliamentary renovation plans.
Bercow told by Labour;s Stephen Doughty that govt already trying to circumvent the demands of the Grieve motions. What can MPs do about it?
Bercow: "The simple answer is that the govt must comply with the humble address passed by the House." Looks pointedly at govt benches. "That is the reality of the matter."
"A debate has happened, a decision has been made, and it is incumbent upon the govt to comply. This is not about game-playing or machination, it;' about doing what parliament wants."
Bercow really quite free of the leash at the moment.
Right we're off. The main event. Oh thank Christ. Motion on early parliamentary general election.
Oh no it's the prime minister.
Same old shit so far. Continues to refer to rebel bill as the "surrender bill".
Reminds Commons that Corbyn said he'd accept election once rebel bill passed.
More composed performance from Johnson. Not quite so manic.
But it does feel like the fight's not in him, seems sluggish and deflated.
Swinson has a good way of looking at the PM. Just looks like she pities him.
This is the best performance he's done in Commons since becoming PM, definitely. But he really does look knackered, and kind of drunk, and there's still no content to speak of.
Johnson: "I will go to Brussels on Oct 17th and negotiate our departure on Oct 31st hopefully with a deal, but without one if necessary. I will not ask for another delay. I will not ask to delay."
Puta madre es aburridisimo.
Sorry, I got so bored and tired the Spanish came out.
"Their behaviour in thwarting the will of the people is undermining this House in the country."
Corbyn: "The only point of any importance that the PM just included in his speech is his clear indication that he does not intend to follow the law that has just been asked that requires him to request an extension in certain circumstances."
Good grief this is so tiresome.
Watching the Tory frontbench, who a week ago were insisting absolutely-no-sir-no-election-not-for-us are now screeching with red-faced anger at the supposed hypocrisy of Corbyn for not wanting an election this week.
I sometimes wonder, are they so dumb they believe this nonsense, or have they somehow trained their brain to feel powerfully about propositions they know make no sense.
Corbyn: Where are Johnson's proposals for negotiation? What is their content? If he wants no-deal, why not argue for it and get a mandate for it?
Maybe death isn't so bad after all. There'd be peace, at least. Nice and quiet. No more typing.
Getting quite mad down there. Screams and shouts now pretty much non-stop.
Corbyn: "The PM is talking up no-deal to one wing of his party and talking up getting a deal to the other wing of his party. He's not preparing adequately for the first and not negotiating at all for the other."
Tory benches definitely much more upbeat than they were last week. But doesn't really matter. It'll be over once prorogation starts. They won't get this election. And as Oct 19th rumbles forward, that'll become a bigger and bigger problem.
Tory MP Jeremy Lefroy, funnily enough, asks the killer question of Johnson. The PM says he's negotiating for a deal. He believes him. "What I would like to hear is how this can be pursued in the course of a general election."
Ian Blackford (SNP): "The PM is saying with those words that he is going to ignore the Houses of parliament. He is going to ignore the law. I would say to the PM: Be careful."
Johnson shakes his head disappointingly,but of course that, or resignation, is the only possible consequence of what he said.
Johnson deflating fast ow he's sat down. You can see the life being sucked out of him.
He was in a better state when he was talking, but now he just has to sit and take it. You can see it acting against his nature.
Fading fast.
Alan Duncan (Tory): "A general election is by its very nature general. But Brexit has been the most divisive, poisonous difficult issue of our life, and if we go into a general election with an unresolved Brexit, there is no way a clear answer can emerge from that process."
"We are in a dreadful bind and that the binary politics of largely Labour and Conservative may be behind us, if not for forever, at least for a very, very ling time."
Don't agree with everything Duncan is saying, but you have to give him credit for getting up and saying things very few people on any side of that room will like the sound of.
Gonna get another drink.
Forced me to escalate.
I'm not entirely sure why Swinson is currently calling for a People's Vote, given she just came out for evocation.
Actually oddly satisfying watching Johnson just sit there and deflate. Fuck it's actually making me feel a bit more upbeat.
Andrew Selous (Tory), a man with quite literally the longest face in the world, is going for the full Brexit bingo.
'Most constituencies had Leave majorities', 'parliament thinks it knows better than the public', parliament good at saying no but can;t decide on something positive....
Maybe he's just really sad about democracy.
Cheers for getting up and saying all that Andrew, great contribution.
George Howarth (Lab): "Why are we in this House at this time of night debating whether or not to hold a general election? Why isn't he in Brussels trying to get a deal?"
Incredible. He's gone, man. Only the body is left behind.
This was the effect of No.10 on Blair after ten years. It's done the same to Johnson in less than ten parliamentary days.
Huh. Hadn't seen Ivan Lewis for awhile. Didn't know he'd gone mad.
The incredible thing about the arguments for an election to sort Brexit is that we only recently had an election on entirely the same basis. And it created this parliament.
MPs are voting now. Oh thank God.
Ayes 293
Noes 46
So again Johnson fails to get his election.
(You need two/thirds to get an election)
Shouts of "shame" but fairly subdued response in the Commons.
Johnson up. "They want the British Pm to go to a vital negotiation without the power to walk away."
Angry accusations but the reality is he has been completely defeated here. The avenues he thought would open up have stayed shut.
Again insists he won't delay. Insists he is going to Brussels to get a deal.
COrbyn: "I think we've had quite enough of the playground politics of the Tory party this evening."
Blackford: "He's been given an instruction to go to Brussels and get an extension. Once that extension has been delivered, we will have an election and Boris will be swept from government."
Caroline Lucas (Green): "We cannot continue with this uncodified constitution that depends on people playing by the rules when we have a feral government."
Mark Francois now. It's nearly 1am, I'm still working and now it;s bloody Mark Francis.
Gibbering something about the Lisbon treaty. "They should ask not for whom the bell tolls because eventually it tolls for them." I'm guessing he didn't read the book.
It's quite possible he's never read any books.
Bercow asked what he could do if the PM didn't obey the law. Bercow: "If there is a dispute as to what a law means or what compliance with it looks like, that is ultimately justiciable and therefore it is to be expected that it would be the subject of a court ruling."
Come on, no more points of order please. Let's bring this whole godawful farce to an end.
Apparently every SNP MP needs to ask a point of order.
The sitting is now suspended until ten past one.
OK they'll now go to prorogation. Some sort of archaic process, which I frankly do not fully understanding, involving the Lords instructing Black Rod to tell the Commons. I'll tune out for tonight.
Never really into it when they go all ceremonial. And I must say, as appalling as the prorogation is, I'm rather looking to not doing another 11 hour Twitter thread for the next five weeks.
In terms of where we are now, the prorogation is plainly abominable. But we've come a long way from just ten days ago. The effort to close down parliament has cost Johnson everything: his majority, his election strategy, his momentum.
So even if the battle over the suspension of parliament was lost, it was at least manoeuvred into a position where it hurt him worse than MPs. And MPs have stood up for themselves against an overmighty executive.
Bercow, MPs' defender in the chair, has gone out the way he wanted, and by doing so ensured it would be this parliament, with a minority government, which chose his successor.
And Grieve's humble address victory could well throw up the kind of information which blows the prorogation decision up into an even bigger scandal. So all in all, not a bad day.
Take the wins where you can. Night all.
Omg I missed a SCUFFLE in the Commons…
That'll learn me. Never, ever go to bed
Martin has usefully compiled it all here.
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