Johnson loses Brexit vote, tables Bill for poll

London, September 4 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday suffered another parliamentary blow over Brexit as MPs backed a Bill to block a no-deal Brexit, which led the embattled premier to call for a snap general election on October 15.

Opposition MPs and Tory rebels ensured the Bill to prevent Britain leaving the EU without a deal in place passed its first stage of reading by 329 votes to 300 and then its final stage by 327 and 299 votes. It meant Johnson would be forced to ask for the EU for extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline if a divorce pact is not in place by mid-October. 

Johnson had already warned that he would rather push for an immediate vote on an early general election for October 15 if the “surrender Bill” cleared all Commons stages. “I don’t want an election, the public don’t want an election but this House has left no other option than letting the public decide who they want as PM,” said Johnson, as he tabled the Bill for an “early general election”. 

That motion will now go into debate and then be voted on later on Wednesday night.

The Brexit vote that he lost earlier was on the second reading and was the first chance for MPs to show whether they supported the Bill. After his third bruising defeat on Brexit since Tuesday, Johnson proceeded to call for an election.  His motion would need the backing of two-thirds of the UK’'s 650 MPs to be passed and so far looks uncertain as the Opposition Labour Party has indicated that it would not vote in favour of Johnson's election timetable. — PTI

Dhesi accuses Boris of ‘racist’ remarks 

London: Britain’s MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi on Wednesday demanded that British PM Boris Johnson apologise for “racist” remarks against Muslim women in the past. “... We can appreciate full well the hurt and pain felt by already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes,” he said, referring to Johnson’s column in The Daily Telegraph last year. PTI