Why I did not vote in snap election bid: South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck explains her decision to abstain

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has explained the reason why she did not take part in a vote which pushed for a snap election.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 15:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 18:55 pm
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

Mrs Lewell-Buck was one of 222 Labour members of the 303 across the House of Commons who did not take part in the vote.

A total of 293 had backed the bid, with 46 voting against it.

The vote was followed by the prorogation of Parliament, leading some MPs to hold up signs saying ‘Silenced” and shou “Shame on you” as the ceremony unfolded, with some breaking out in song during the protest.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i politics newsletter cut through the noise

Today, the South Shields representative said: “Last night I did not vote in favour of a general election, because just last week I signed a successful cross-party amendment seeking to bring before the house the Brexit deal negotiated between Labour and the Government.

“In doing so I committed to working for a deal so that we can leave the EU, which we are scheduled to do on October 31.

“This amendment ensures minds are focused on a deal, not a general election, which would at this stage be a de facto second referendum, something I have been consistent in my opposition to.”

She was joined in her action by fellow North East Labour members, who also abstained from the vote.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn did not respond to a request for comment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, for Berwick-upon-Tweed, and Guy Opperman, for Hexham, who are both Conservatives, voted in favour.

The prorogation, suspending Parliament for five weeks and ending the longest parliamentary session in UK history, makes a general election unlikely until at least mid-November.

The PM said he wanted to head to the polls next month to break the political deadlock, as he accused opposition parties of making "outrageous excuses" to delay.

He insisted he would not ask for another Brexit delay, despite royal assent being given to legislation requiring an extension to the UK's EU membership unless a divorce deal is approved or Parliament agrees to leaving the EU without one by October 19.