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Labour fury as Government blocks ‘no confidence’ vote

The opposition said it was ‘unprecedented’ for ministers not to allow parliamentary time for a vote to take place.

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The House of Commons chamber (House of Commons/PA)

The House of Commons chamber (House of Commons/PA)

The House of Commons chamber (House of Commons/PA)

Labour has accused the Government of “running scared” after it blocked plans by the opposition to stage a Commons no confidence vote in Boris Johnson and his administration.

A Labour spokeswoman said it was “unprecedented” for ministers not to allow parliamentary time for a vote of confidence which the party had been seeking on Wednesday.

But a Government spokesman hit back, accusing Labour of “playing politics” by tabling a motion of no confidence in the Government and the Prime Minister when Boris Johnson had already resigned.

“As the Prime Minister has already resigned and a leadership process is under way we do not feel this is a valuable use of parliamentary time,” the spokesman said.

“Should Labour amend their motion appropriately, they can have the next business day for it to be debated.”

Yet again the Tories are changing the rules to protect their own dodgy matesLabour

Labour, however, said the action represented a “flagrant abuse of power to protect a discredited Prime Minister” and called on the Tory leadership candidates to denounce it.

“This clapped-out Government is running scared and refusing to allow time to debate Labour’s vote of no confidence motion,” a spokeswoman said.

“This is totally unprecedented. Yet again the Tories are changing the rules to protect their own dodgy mates.”

After a series of Labour MPs raised points of order in the Commons chamber, Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans said he expected the parties to resolve their differences themselves.

He said that by convention the Government always acceded to a request by the leader of the Opposition to allow time for a confidence vote to be held.

“I can only conclude therefore that the Government has concluded the motion as tabled by the official Opposition does not have that effect,” he said.

“That is a matter, though, for the Government rather than the chair. Can I just say there are seven more sitting days before recess and I, as Deputy Speaker, would anticipate there to be further discussions.”

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell (left) and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves as they travel by train with other members of his shadow cabinet to High Wycombe (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell (left) and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves as they travel by train with other members of his shadow cabinet to High Wycombe (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

PA

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell (left) and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves as they travel by train with other members of his shadow cabinet to High Wycombe (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Labour announced that it intended to table a no confidence motion in response to Boris Johnson’s declaration that he intended to carry on as Prime Minister until a new Tory leader is in place in September.

Speaking earlier, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The Tory party has at last concluded that the Prime Minister is unfit for office – that was blindingly obvious a very, very long time ago.

“They can’t now let him cling on for weeks and weeks and weeks, until September 5. It would be intolerable for the country.”

In practice, Labour’s motion had looked unlikely to succeed given that it could potentially trigger a general election.

That would require Tory MPs to vote for it – or at least abstain in sufficient numbers – at a time when the party is effectively leaderless and trailing in the polls.

Labour, however, wanted to put on record where leadership contenders and their colleagues in the Commons stood on Mr Johnson staying in office over the next two months.

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