General election REJECTED as MPs defeat Boris Johnson in House of Commons vote

Mr Corbyn instructed MPs to abstain instead of voting for or against a major ballot, which failed by 299/70. Mr Johnson needed 320 votes for the motion to pass to allow Britain to go to the polling stations and finally end the Brexit deadlock. Addressing mr Corbyn directly, Mr Johnson said: "I think frankly the electorate will find his behaviour utterly bewildering." 

But it would appear all may not be lost in the Brexit battle.

Mr Johnson will table a one-line motion first mooted by the Lib Dems and SNP now that this evening’s vote has failed.

The motion would allow No10 to bypass the Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) and call an election.

Tomorrow Mr Johnson will put forward a one-line motion calling for a general election, requiring just a simple majority.

The motion does hold more risks for No10 than the FTPA, however. It is susceptible to amendments, which could desiccate the Government’s election plot.

A Number 10 source this afternoon said: "Tonight is Labour's last chance to have an election with Brexit done - they can vote tonight for the 12th and get Brexit done before Parliament is dissolved.

"If not, we will introduce a Bill almost identical to the SNP Bill tomorrow and we will have a pre-Christmas election anyway.

"This Parliament has repeatedly failed to respect its promise to respect the referendum.

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He said: "I must make clear my view that this unwanted prolongation of the UK's membership of the EU is damaging to our democracy and to the relationship between us and our European friends."

The extension will be terminated early if Mr Johnson succeeds in getting his Withdrawal and Implementation Bill approved by Parliament before then.

MPs began debating the Prime Minister's motion to hold an early general election shortly after 5pm.

Mr Johnson needed to secure the votes of Labour MPs to secure an early vote, in order to achieve a two-thirds majority.

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