Theresa May’s government has survived a vote of no confidence by 325 votes to 306.
The case against the Prime Minister’s government was put by Jeremy Corbyn’s centrist-leaning deputy, Tom Watson. Its defence was pleaded by Environment secretary Michael Gove — a Brexiteer and former ally of Boris Johnson, who was briefly cast into the party’s outer darkness after breaking with the former Mayor of London in an attempt to claim the Tory leadership for himself, in the contest following the EU referendum which ultimately put Mrs May in Downing Street.
The Prime Minister would not have survived without the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The Brexit-supporting party has provided her minority government with its parliamentary majority through a confidence and supply arrangement, but helped the Opposition, Brexiteer rebels, and Tory Remainers hand the Withdrawal Agreement she negotiated with the EU a stunning defeat, believing some of its provisions would have undermined Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove accuses Labour of failing to make the case for Jeremy Corbyn – saying Tom Watson did "not once mention in his speech the leader of the opposition, or why he should be prime minister"
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) January 16, 2019
Mrs May adopted a magnanimous stance after the vote confirmed her position, offering to hold talks with the leaders of rival parties on how to take the Brexit negotiations forward the same night.
How fruitful these can be remains in doubt, however, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) thanking her for her offer but warning that options up to and including re-running the 2016 referendum — a so-called “People’s Vote” — would have to be put on the table.
She did speak to leaders from the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru — but not the Labour Party, which is refusing to enter discussions until No Deal is taken off the table.
While a former Remain campaigner herself, Mrs May’s public position — so far — is that failing to deliver Brexit would shatter the public’s faith in Britain’s parliamentary system.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 16, 2019
This story is developing…