FOR the second day running Theresa May has suffered humiliation by losing a Commons vote as Parliament seeks to wrest control of the Brexit process from the UK Government.

Following furious scenes at Westminster over John Bercow, the Commons Speaker’s decision to allow MPs to vote on a rebel Tory amendment on a business motion, MPs, by a majority of 11, voted for it; 308 to 297.

The amendment calls on the Prime Minister to bring forward, within three days, a Plan B should, as is expected, she loses next Tuesday’s vote on her Brexit proposal.

Procedure had meant Mrs May would have had to have explained her alternative proposal within 21 days. Her spokesman insisted that her intention had been to move quickly should her initial plan be rejected next week.

While the row that flared up at Westminster centres on parliamentary process, at its nub is who is in control; Parliament or the Government?

Following the Government defeat on the amendment, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said: “The Government’s decision to delay the meaningful vote has run down the clock and increased the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

“If the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is defeated next week, she must return to Parliament as soon as possible and give MPs a real say on what happens next.”

The latter point is key. Opposition MPs and rebel Tories believe that whatever proposal Mrs May brings back by the end of next week should be amendable ie MPs having the ability to prevent a no-deal outcome and, possibly, vote for a second EU referendum, the so-called People’s Vote.

Ahead of the controversial vote, Mr Bercow faced a backlash from angry Conservative MPs after he selected the amendment from former Tory minister Dominic Grieve, to ensure the PM returned with a revised EU exit plan within three sitting days should her original Brexit deal be defeated.

Whitehall insiders believed the Government’s business motion was unamendable or “bomb-proof,” according to one source.

But when ministers realised the Speaker was going to allow the rebel amendment to be voted on, without debate, tempers flared. It was suggested that Julian Smith, the Chief Whip, had a stand-up row with Mr Bercow.

Following Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Bercow, faced by Tory indignation, insisted he stood by his decision, telling MPs: "My understanding is the motion is amendable, I'm clear in my mind about that."

After heckles from the Tory benches, he added: "I'm trying to do the right thing and make the right judgments. That is what I have tried to do and what I will go on doing."

Mark Francois, the former Conservative minister and deputy chairman of the anti-EU Eurosceptic European Research Group, claimed Mr Bercow was not following his own rules.

Raising one of many Points of Order after PMQs, he said: "Mr Speaker, I have not been in this House as long as you but I have been here for 18 years and I have never known any occasion when any Speaker has overruled a motion of the House of Commons.

"You have said again and again you're a servant of this House and we take you at your word, and I have heard you many times on points of order when people have challenged you say 'I cannot do X or Y because I am bound by a motion of the House'.

"You have done that multiple times in my experience, so why are you overruling this today?"

As Mr Bercow defended his decision, an enraged Mr Francois yelled "ridiculous" and "that is utter sophistry".

The Speaker explained: "The answer is simple. He referred to a motion and he said that no motion in this context, for the purposes of precis, may be moved other then by a Minister of the Crown. 'Tis so.

"We're not speaking here of a motion but of an amendment to a motion. I'm sorry but there is a distinction between a motion and an amendment.

"What he says about a motion I accept but it doesn't relate to an amendment. That is the answer."

The acrimonious atmosphere continued as Andrea Leadsom, the Commons Leader, who has clashed with Mr Bercow before, noted there were "some concerns" about his decision and asked him to confirm it was taken with "full advice" from the Commons clerk and other parliamentary advisers. One suggestion doing the rounds at Westminster was that he had rejected the clerk’s advice.

To cheers from Tory MPs, she asked him to publish it.

Mr Bercow confirmed he had consulted the clerk and officials, saying the advice was given to him "privately and that's absolutely proper".

He said: "It's also true I had a written note from the clerk from which I quoted in responding to the first point of order."

Tory MP David Morris leapt to his feet and repeatedly shouted: "Publish it!"

Mr Bercow added there was not full written advice nor a brief, and did not confirm that his decision was taken with agreement from the Commons clerk Sir David Natzler.

The Father of the House, the former Chancellor Ken Clarke, earlier said he found it "unbelievable" that some MPs were trying to stop the Commons expressing its opinion on the matter.

He said: "I would suggest to some of my honourable friends, the ones that are getting somewhat overexcited, that perhaps they should don a yellow jacket and go outside."