Former Tory MP Anna Soubry has claimed the majority of MPs support a People’s Vote, shortly after Parliament voted for an early general election on Tuesday night.
Ms Soubry, one of only 20 MPs to vote against the December election in Tuesday’s crunch vote, made the bold claim in a speech after the result was announced in the Commons.
The Change UK leader’s speech drew cries of laughter from both sides of the House after she argued that “in private” many backbenchers not only didn’t want an election but also backed a second referendum.
“In private many of us have come to the conclusion that the majority of backbenchers on both sides do not want a general election,” Ms Soubry said.
“Fear from whatever quarter it may come will be an abiding thing that will come out of this Parliament. And a lack of courage from too many is also a mark of the end of this Parliament.
“In private it is undoubtedly a fact that the majority of members of this Parliament support a People’s Vote rather than a general election”.
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Ms Soubry’s claims come despite the majority of MPs backing an election on Tuesday at the fourth time of asking.
In a series of indicative votes after Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected, MPs also rejected the prospect of a second referendum.
Her statement came as the Commons voted by 438 to 20 at third reading to approve the one-page Bill enabling the election to be held on December 12.
Earlier, MPs voted by 315 to 295 to reject a Labour amendment for the proposed polling day to be moved to December 9 – three days earlier than ministers wanted.
The vote effectively clears the way for Parliament to be dissolved on November 6, paving the way for an election on December 12.