Quantcast
Connect with us

Boris Johnson loses in parliament — again

Published

on

Johnson gestured angrily during clashes in parliament with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. (UK PARLIAMENT/AFP / JESSICA TAYLOR)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered yet another setback on Thursday after MPs rejected a request to briefly suspend business for his party’s conference, highlighting the hostility he faces in parliament just weeks before Brexit.

In his seventh successive defeat in parliament, MPs voted to reject his call for three days off next week to hold his Conservative party’s annual conference.

ADVERTISEMENT

Parliament usually holds a recess during all the main party’s conferences, but tensions are currently at boiling point among MPs over Britain’s scheduled exit form the European Union next month.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was unlawful, as it had the effect of frustrating lawmakers ahead of the October 31 deadline.

MPs reconvened on Wednesday but, in a stormy session that evening, Johnson showed no contrition and instead vowed to press ahead with Brexit come what may.

His rhetoric sparked accusations — including from his own sister — of stoking divisions in a country still split over the 2016 referendum vote for Brexit.

Johnson told the BBC in response: “Tempers need to come down, and people need to come together.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Because it’s only by getting Brexit done that you’ll lance the boil, as it were, of the current anxiety.”

Johnson was said to be “disappointed” by the vote not to allow conference recess, although party sources said it will still go ahead as planned.

‘Tasteless’ remarks

ADVERTISEMENT

Johnson only took office in July but his threat to leave the EU even without a divorce deal with Brussels has put him on a collision course with some MPs.

Most members of the House of Commons, where he no longer has a majority, fear a “no deal” exit would bring huge economic disruption.

ADVERTISEMENT

During a combative, three-hour debate on Wednesday evening, Johnson condemned the court ruling as “wrong” and accused MPs of betraying the Brexit referendum.

He repeatedly slammed parliament for passing a “surrender act” requiring him to seek to delay Brexit if he fails to reach a deal with the EU in time.

Johnson was asked to tone down his language by friends of Jo Cox, an anti-Brexit MP murdered by a Nazi sympathiser during the referendum campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

But he drew gasps by saying the best way to honour Cox’s memory would be “to get Brexit done”, while dismissing one female MP’s concerns as “humbug”.

Cox’s husband Brendan said the exchanges — which came amid a rising number of attacks against lawmakers on all sides — made him feel “a bit sick”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Johnson’s language was “indistinguishable from the far right” — and even his the premier’s sister Rachel said the remark about Cox was “tasteless”.

In the BBC interview, Johnson condemned threats against politicians, but said parliamentarians should be able to speak freely when debating crucial issues.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brussels talks Friday

Johnson met with Conservative MPs on Thursday before gathering his top ministers to discuss plans for conference, which starts on Sunday in Manchester.

The premier wants an election to break the parliamentary deadlock, which he believes he can win with his hardline stance on Brexit.

But opposition MPs will not support such a move until the threat of a “no deal” departure is removed.

Downing Street says Johnson is now focused on getting an agreement with Brussels, which he hopes to agree with EU leaders when they meet on October 17/18.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay will hold talks Friday with EU negotiator Michel Barnier, while Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney will also travel to Brussels.

Johnson insists progress is being made in trying to rework the exit terms struck by his predecessor Theresa May, but rejected by the British parliament.

London has presented some technical papers on alternatives to the controversial backstop plan to keep open Britain’s border with Ireland after Brexit.

But the EU says it has not received any comprehensive proposals — and time is running out.

“We are still waiting,” Barnier told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s ‘The Apprentice: Covid Edition’ is a massive flop — and blowing up in his face

Published

on

It's hardly new or revelatory to say this, but it's critical to remember the role that "The Apprentice" played in turning Donald Trump, a notoriously bad businessman with a string of bankruptcies, into an American icon of capitalist success. Everything from careful editing to set designers giving the dreary Trump Organization offices a glow-up came together to create the illusion of success where only failure and mediocrity had been before.

It was an experience so profound for Trump that he did something highly unusual: He learned something. He absorbed the idea that a well-constructed illusion of competence gets you all the benefits of being accomplished, without having to do the hard work of actually achieving anything.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘We ought to be mourning’: Fox News guest reprimands anchor over attack on ‘comrade’ AOC

Published

on

Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett (D) pushed back against Fox News host Pete Hegseth on Sunday after he attacked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"Comrade Cortez firing up her base in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death," Hegseth announced to kick off the Fox & Friends segment. "The New York socialist telling supporters they need to back Biden now more than ever."

"Karen, I will start with you," the Fox News host continued. "Comrade Cortez says let this moment radicalize you. Is that what this should do for Democrats?"

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

The future of Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat will likely hinge on control of the Senate

Published

on

Donald Trump may push Senate Republicans to try to jam a Supreme Court nominee through before the election, but I think it's more likely that he'll opt to run on the vacancy given that it's an issue that could bring Republicans who don't like him back into the fold. It would be better for him than running against the Democratic backlash that would follow a hasty confirmation before the election. And Senate Majority Mitch McConnell would also be hard-pressed to usher through a confirmation in that brief period, and he has vulnerable members who need to be home campaigning.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (I-AK) have said that they will not vote for a nominee before next year's inauguration. Mitt Romney (R-UT) was reportedly against moving a nominee this year as well, although his press secretary denied the accuracy of the story. If he's a no, then one more vote kills a confirmation, which would be a devastating blow to Trump just before an election.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage.  Help us deliver it.  Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE