BORIS Johnson has slammed the door on Westminster for five weeks as MPs once again rejected his call for a snap General Election on October 15.

Only 293 MPs backed an election in a late Commons vote, with 46 against.

Under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Acts, the Prime Minister required the votes of two-thirds of MPs - at least 434 - to be successful in his bid for an early poll.

It came after another dramatic day in the UK Parliament John Bercow, often the target of Tory attacks over Brexit for alleged bias, announced he was stepping down as Speaker but not, in all likelihood, before October 31, meaning he could still facilitate any move by the so-called “Remain Alliance” to stop the Mr Johnson getting around its desire to stop a no-deal outcome in the frantic days before the European Council on October 17/18.

Amid emotional scenes, Mr Bercow directed a clear warning at Mr Johnson, declaring: “We degrade this Parliament at our peril." Labour’s Harriet Harman is in the running to become the new Speaker.

Jeremy Corbyn described the Government's decision to go ahead with the suspension of Parliament for five weeks as "disgraceful".

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The Labour leader said: "Parliament should be holding the Government to account. The Prime Minister appears to want to run away from questions."

Following a meeting of opposition leaders, Ian Blackford for the SNP said: "It is clear there must be an early election but it cannot happen while the Tory Government is threatening to subvert the law to force through a catastrophic no-deal Brexit on October 31.”

When MPs return on October 14, opposition forces are planning to oppose the Government's Queen's Speech in a bid to bring down the Conservative administration following the all-important European Council three days later and force a general election in late November or early December.

Mr Johnson’s decision to shut Parliament down early before the party conference season means on Wednesday he will avoid another confrontational PMQs and a 90-minute grilling by the chairmen of the Commons committees.

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Ahead of the formal five-week suspension of Parliament, MPs were once again poised to rebuff the PM’s call for a snap election following one more heated debate on the subject.

Earlier, legislation designed to stop the Government forcing through a no-deal Brexit on October 31 became law after receiving the Queen's assent.

But No 10 continued to refuse to be specific about how the PM would obey it yet not seek an extension, which the law requires him to do if he cannot get a deal by October 19.

One Downing St source made clear that the Government was intent on “sabotaging” the MPs’ bid to delay Brexit further.

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Mr Johnson’s spokesman urged MPs to trust the public, saying: “There is a simple way to resolve this. All they have to do is vote for an election today so the British public can decide whether they want to get Brexit on October 31. The PM is very clear that he will take this country out of the EU on October 31 no ifs or buts. He will not sanction any more pointless delays.”

On the final day of Parliament before its controversial suspension, Mr Bercow granted two emergency debates.

Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, demanded all written and electronic contact about Parliament’s suspension and the Operation Yellowhammer documents on no-deal planning be published no later than 11pm on Wednesday.

The list of communications he wanted covered key individuals, including Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s de facto chief of staff.

Mr Grieve, who was among the 21 Tory rebels expelled from the party last week, said reliable public officials had given him information relating to prorogation that told him "they believed the handling of this matter smacked of scandal".

His demand came after documents released in the Court of Session in Edinburgh showed the PM appeared to have approved prorogation on August 15, despite subsequent official denials and the public announcement being made nearly two weeks later on August 28.

Sir Keir Starmer for Labour told MPs: “This Government cannot take the country on a route which may end up with a no-deal exit with no details of the impact. This Government should have the decency and courage to put the information before Parliament."

The SNP’s Hannah Bardell accused the Government of displaying “kamikaze-like behaviour” and said it was “reprehensible this Government has put us in the position that we are having to fight every step of the way, through the courts and through Parliament, just to get the very basic information about the impact of a no-deal Brexit".

But Michael Gove for the Government insisted it was “absolutely committed” to sharing as much information with MPs as possible and denounced their “fishing expedition”.

Refusing to take interventions from opposition backbenchers, the Cabinet Office Minister rebuked MPs supporting Mr Grieve’s motion, saying: "Their desire to rifle through private correspondences of advisers is to set aside legal precedent and the rights of citizens."

But MPs approved it by 311 votes to 302, a majority of nine.

Later, Mr Corbyn led a debate on the need for UK ministers to comply with the law in reference to the newly-created Brexit Extension Act.

"The fact Parliament is compelled to pass a law to ensure the will of Parliament is upheld shows what extraordinary times we now live in,” declared the Labour leader. “The House has rejected no-deal, businesses and trade unions are united in rejecting no-deal and there is no majority for it across the country."


Mr Corbyn also denounced the PM for his “obsession” with aggressive language, saying: “Surrender Bill or do-or-die or rather be ‘dead in a ditch,’ the list goes on…The lives at stake as a result of all this are not those of the Prime Minister or his Cabinet."

Ian Blackford for the SNP said: "The Prime Minister says he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than write to seek an extension to protect our economy from falling off the cliff-edge; if that is the course that he chooses, then the Prime Minister must resign. Undermining democracy at every turn, he simply cannot be trusted.”

But Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said: "This Government will always respect the rule of law. That's been our clear position consistently and frankly it's outrageous that that is even in doubt.”

But he then went on to note: “Of course, how the rule of law will be respected is normally straightforward but sometimes it can be more complex because there are conflicting laws or competing legal advice."

Today, at the TUC Congress in Brighton, Mr Corbyn will accuse the PM and his Cabinet of “hijacking” the referendum result and of using no-deal as cover to “shift even more power and wealth to those at the top” and sell off our public services.

He is due to say: “No one can trust the word of a prime minister who is threatening to break the law to force through no-deal. So, a general election is coming but we won’t allow Johnson to dictate the terms.

“And I can tell you this: we’re ready for that election. We’re ready to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we've ever seen.”

In response, James Cleverly, the Tory Chairman, said: “Labour will do anything to cancel the referendum result. Despite spending years calling for a general election, Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t trust the people and he is now running scared.”