The most seasoned Westminster correspondents are still staggering around in shock following last night’s events in the House of Commons, where MPs voted in favour of ruling out a “no deal” Brexit by a clear majority of 43. This followed a much tighter vote in favour of the so-called “Spelman amendment” to the “no deal” motion, which turned it into a far stronger rejection of “no deal” than the government wanted. Another amendment, the so-called “Malthouse compromise”, named after its author Kit Malthouse, the former London Assembly Member for West Central and deputy mayor for policing under Mayor Boris Johnson, was defeated. How did London’s 73 MPs vote on the two amendments and the eventually motion rejecting “no deal” under any circumstances?
Labour. As with Tuesday night’s vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the capital’s 46 Labour MPs all did what you want have expected with one predictable exception. The 45 all voted for the Spelman amendment toughing up the main event “no deal” motion, against the Malthouse amendment and in favour of the amended “no deal” motion. The sole exception was dedicated Eurosceptic and Brexit-backer Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), who did the precise opposite.
Conservative. Again, the 21 London Tories were divided and subdivided in various ways. The predominant voting combination, chosen by 13 of the London Tory MPs, was against the Spelman amendment, in favour of the Malthouse and against the “no deal” motion. This meant backing the government in the first and third cases, but opposing it in the second and was the option of the most devoted Brexiters and some of the more flexible ones: Boris Johnson (Uxbridge & South Ruislip); Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green); Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet); Andrew Rosindell (Romford); Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park); Julia Lopez (Hornchurch & Upminster); Bob Blackman (Harrow East); Greg Hands (Fulham & Chelsea); Chris Philp (Croydon South); Paul Scully (Sutton & Cheam); Sir David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford); Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster); and Bob Stewart (Beckenham).
The other eight Tories did an array of different things. Communities secretary James Brokenshire (Old Bexley & Sidcup), Matthew Offord (Hendon) and minister for London Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner) were against Spelman and the “no deal” motion but abstained on Malthouse. Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) was against Spelman and abstained on Malthouse and the “no deal” motion. Ex-minister for London Jo Johnson (Orpington) abstained on everything, as did Mike Freer (Finchley & Golders Green). On London contributor Bob Neill (Bromley & Chislehurst) voted against Spelman, Malthouse and the “no deal” motion, making him the only London Tory MP to vote the way the government wanted him to across the board. Finally, “people’s vote” advocate Justine Greening (Putney), voted for Spelman, against Malthouse and for the “no deal” motion, aligning her precisely with all the London Labour MPs except Kate Hoey. Tories division on Europe appear alive and well in the capital.
Liberal Democrats. Tom Brake (Carshalton & Walllington), Ed Davey (Kingston & Surbiton) and Vince Cable (Twickenham) all went “yes” to Spelman, “no” to Malthouse and “yes” to ruling out “no deal”. As expected, and the same as Greening and the Labour MPs bar Hoey.
Independent Group: Mike Gapes (Ilford South), Joan Ryan (Enfield North) and Chuka Umunna (Streatham) are London’s three TIG MPs. They did the same as the Lib Dems, Greening and nearly all the London Labour MPs.
Tonight, MP vote on extending Article 50. Can’t wait.