PM survives Queen’s Speech vote in first test


Theresa May has secured a majority for her Queen’s Speech in her first Commons test of the new Parliament.

The House voted 323 to 309 to support the Government’s legislative agenda for the next two years, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) giving the Conservatives their backing following the “confidence and supply” deal struck earlier this week.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a rebellion as 49 Labour MPs defied the party leadership to back an amendment by former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna on Brexit.

Shadow ministers Andy Slaughter, Catherine West and Ruth Cadbury were sacked by the Labour leader after rebelling on the vote, while Daniel Zeichner revealed he has resigned as a shadow transport minister.

The amendment called for Britain to remain in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, in defiance of official Labour policy.

Mr Umunna’s amendment was defeated by 322 votes to 101 with most Labour MPs following the leadership by abstaining.

Meanwhile the Government managed to avoid a possible defeat on funding abortions for Northern Ireland women in England and Wales.

Senior Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley added his name to anĀ amendment by Labour backbencher Stella Creasy, calling on the Government to provide extra money.

Rather than risk more Tory MPs supporting the amendment – and therefore risk a Government defeat – Chancellor Philip Hammond announced ministers had found the cash needed.

“I know this is a matter of great importance to members on both sides of the House and an issue which I know my colleagues on the Treasury bench have been looking for a solution to,” he said.

The concession was welcomed by Ms Creasy, who withdrew her amendment without putting it to a vote, on the basis of the Government’s assurances.