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UK MPs vote to reject 2nd gov't bid for snap election

Published : 10 Sep 2019, 10:25

  DF-Xinhua Report

Demonstrators gather outside the Houses of Parliament holding placards in London, Britain, on Sept. 9, 2019. Photo by Alberto Pezzali/Xinhua.

British lawmakers on Monday night voted to reject Prime Minister Boris Johnson's second bid for a snap general election, dealing another heavy blow to his Brexit strategy.

The legislators voted 293 to 46 to turn down the government's wish to hold a general election on Oct. 15. The next general election is scheduled for 2022.

According to the outcome announced in the early hours of Tuesday, the votes in favour of an early election fell short of the 434 votes needed and marked the new prime minister's sixth defeat in the House of Commons.

It is the second time that Johnson failed to get sufficient two-thirds majority at the House of Commons required by law for an early general election. His first bid was voted down in the parliament last Wednesday.

Johnson's other defeats include: a bill that became law on Monday to direct him to seek a delayed Brexit, a job that he vowed not to take, Amber Rudd's resignation on Saturday as the work and pensions secretary, and the resignation of his younger brother, Jo Johnson, from his government.

Johnson's decision to prorogue -- suspend -- the parliament until Oct. 14 was also challenged in courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Before the late-night vote, the prime minister told the parliament that an early election was the only way to resolve the country's current Brexit deadlock.

"Let the people decide if they want a Brexit delay," Johnson said in the parliament while calling for support for his bid for a snap election.

During the debate which lasted a couple of hours before the vote, the prime minister accused opposition parties of making "outrageous excuses" to delay.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour, had become the first leader of the opposition in the country's history to "show his confidence" in the government "by declining the opportunity to have an election with a view to removing the government," said Johnson.

In response, Corbyn said he would not let his party walk into "traps laid by this prime minister."

"This government is only interested in shutting down parliament to avoid any scrutiny," he said.

After the vote, the parliament was prorogued for five weeks until Oct. 14.

Earlier Monday, MPs voted for British ministers to release correspondence related to prorogation and no-deal Brexit plans.

Vowing to take his country out of the European Union (EU) on Oct. 31 with or without a deal, the prime minister said that he would "rather be dead in the ditch" than ask the EU for "another pointless delay" of Britain's departure from the regional bloc.