Closed MPs reject attempt to legislate against a no-deal Brexit — as it happened


A live blog from (starting at 11am)

Boris, Brexit and the bus

Good morning on a busy day for UK politics. Boris Johnson faces questions over his track record as he seeks to become the next British prime minister at a launch event in London this morning.

He is expected to campaign with a promise to unite the country, but that will immediately be scrutinised given widespread opposition from opposition MPs and business leaders to his pledge to leave the EU regardless of a deal with Brussels at the end of October.

MPs vote to take control of Brexit

Mr Johnson’s no-deal stance will be immediately tested later on Wednesday, when MPs will vote on whether to take control of Commons business on 25 June to bring in legislation that would stop the UK exiting the EU without a deal. The Labour-led move is expected to be backed by Tory MPs worried about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Leadsom: MPs will not back Labour bid to take control

Speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show, Conservative leadership hopeful and Brexiter Andrea Leadsom has said she is certain MPs will not back Labour’s calls to take control of Commons business on June 25.

Mrs Leadsom has also said that, as Prime Minister, she would press the nuclear button “if necessary” and that she would not support a second Scottish independence referendum.

Although widely viewed as an outsider, Mrs Leadsom is confident of getting through round one of the leadership race, she says. She is running on a platform of leaving the EU on October 31, as she believes the EU would agree to what she has called a “managed” no-deal Brexit. Read more in her latest FT interview here

Boris faces tough questions

The official launch of Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign at 11am is highly anticipated among Tory MPs, writes the FT’s Seb Payne. The former foreign secretary has said very little during the contest so far – beyond one interview and his regular column in the Telegraph. Now it’s time for him to break into the open and try to meet the high expectations for his candidacy.

Team Johnson have opted to keep their man quiet, working behind the scenes to ensure he has strong parliamentary support and let his rivals exhaust themselves out attacking him. The strategy has worked: he has double of the number of endorsements from MPs than his nearest rival, and his polling numbers within the Tory party are way ahead of the rivals. He remains the candidate to beat.

Despite his record for being shambolic and committing gaffes, Mr Johnson has been remarkably disciplined. We’ll see if he can maintain this new-found professionalism when he is forced to speak to the media, explain his platform and bring together his disparate Brexit platform which appears to promise everything to everyone.

Confidential cabinet note warns on no-deal Brexit

Political editor George Parker has seen a confidential cabinet briefing document warning that Britain remains unprepared for leaving the EU without a transition deal.

The government will need six to eight months of discussion with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the country’s medicine stockpiles remain “adequate” the note says.

Read more here

Tory runners and riders

Who are the lead candidates to become the UK’s next prime minister? The FT has produced an in-depth interactive to find out who is running and who has the most support.

The race for PM

Le Monde says non merci to Boris Johnson

In a strongly worded editorial, the leading French publication warns that, on becoming prime minister, Mr Johnson would not be seen merely as “a buffoon” anymore. His entry into 10 Downing Street, Le Monde proclaims, would be a disaster for the UK and for Europe.

Geoffrey Cox introduces Boris Johnson

The Attorney General becomes the latest supporter of Boris Johnson, and serves as warm act before the main event. He says that we need a leader that can unify the Conservatives and fight Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage.

Boris Johnson takes stage to applause

Johnson pledges to leave EU on October 31

Kicking off his speech with praise for the “commercial dynamism” of the British people that has “insulated” the country from crisis in Westminster, Mr Johnson derides parliamentary parties for being stuck in a “yellow box junction” and unable to move forward or back on Brexit.

He says the country has fallen into “disillusion and despair at our ability to get things done,” and pledges October 31 will be the date the country leaves the EU.

“People need courage and clarity and they want a resolution,” he says.

A delay would deliver votes into the arms of “insurgent parties” he adds.

But he will come up with a better deal for leaving Europe, he promises.

Delay risks making tensions worst, he adds.

Boris: I don’t think we will end up with no-deal

Mr Johnson says that he does not think the UK will end up with a no-deal Brexit, but that it was necessary to prepare for such an eventuality. “They don’t want a no-deal any more than I do,” he said, referring to Brussels. “Delay means defeat. Delay means Corbyn.”

Boris: I can unite the country

The former London Mayor says he can unite Britain in the way that he brought London together by making “fantastic investments” in mass transit “so people on modest incomes could live close to their place of work.” He also says that he cut the murder rate and traffic fatalities.

“Everything we did was driven by a desire for social justice” for poorer families, he says, although he was a winner for business and financial services too. He was “just about the only politician” to stick up for the City, he says.

As leader, he will be able to fight for nurses and teachers because he will “enable” bankers, shopkeepers and tech workers as well.

He will “bridge the opportunity gap” for everyone so that “no person feels left behind” he says. “In everything we do we will seek to strengthen the union of our four nation,” says, describing the UK as “awesome”.

Boris: end debilitating uncertainty

Mr Johnson says that it is “time to end this debilitating uncertainty… that’s why I believe I am the right person to take this country forward.”

He says that he does not underestimate the complexity and challenges that lie ahead, but he has a track record of overcoming short term difficulties for long term success.

Johnson promises to ‘protect’ the nation from Corbyn

According to Mr Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stands for “a real threat to our fundamental values and our way of life.”

He then presents himself as the answer to this problem. He will “protect this country from the red-toothed, red-clawed socialism” of the Labour left, he pledges.

A Labour government “would compromise our ability to fund the NHS and so much else besides,” he claims. “We cannot let them anywhere near Downing Street.”

Boris takes six questions from the press

Laura Kuenssberg from the BBC asks: can the country trust you?

“Yes of course,” he replies. “I don’t want a no-deal outcome but it is right for our great country to prepare for that outcome. The best way to avoid a no deal outcome.. is to make the preparations now for us to leave in a managed way.”

He says that a no-deal Brexit was a “last resort”, and not something “that was anyone’s first option” but that the best way to avoid such an outcome was to prepare.

Is Boris fit to govern?

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby reminds Mr Johnson of offensive comments he has made in the recent past, such as referring to veiled Muslim women as “letterboxes” and asks if this makes him unfit to lead.

Mr Johnson apologises for any offence he may have caused, but argues the British public feels alienated from politicians because they “muffle” their views and speak in bureaucratic language.

Mr Johnson says:

One of the reasons why the public feels alienated from us all as a breed is because we are muffling our language, not speaking as we find…covering everything up in bureaucratic platitudes.

I will continue to speak as directly as I can.

Boris: dodges the drugs question

The reporter from the Daily Mail asks about the reports that he has taken cocaine in the past.

Mr Johnson says that the account has appeared many times but “most people in this country most want us to focus what we can do for them”, pointing to his campaign pledges around modern conservatism with a one nation vision.

He added that he would put free market capitalism “at the core of what we are trying to do”.

Does Boris still want to F business?

The FT’s political editor George Parker refers to that “F*** business” comment Mr Johnson made last year when presented with industry concerns over Brexit.

Mr Johnson responds that he was a major champion of financial services as London mayor and an enthusiastic salesmen of the UK’s industries as foreign secretary.

He says there is “not anyone in the modern Conservative party who has done more to stick up for business, even in the toughest of times.”

“If I am lucky enough to become our leader there will be no more enthusiastic champion and sales person of the UK,” he concludes. “That is the mission.”

Boris: block Brexit and risk retribution

Heather Stewart at the Guardian asks: what happens if MPs block a no-deal Brexit?

Mr Johnson says: “I understand that colleagues in parliament have strong views but our job is to engage with everybody and point out the existential threat that faces both main parties if we fail to get this thing done.”

He adds that he thinks maturity and a sense of duty will prevail, saying that it will be very difficult for colleagues in parliament to block “the will of the people”. He says that if Brexit is blocked that “we will reap the whirlwind and.. retribution from the electorate”.

“I am not going to pretend that everything will be plain sailing… [but] we will work flat out between now and October 31 and I think we will get the result that the country needs.”

Boris takes his seat to applause.

Rees-Mogg looking happy

That’s Boris Johnson’s leadership launch event over. In attendance was Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chair of the European Research Group, the arch-Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party, who was a thorn in the side of outgoing prime minister Theresa May as she tried and failed to get her Brexit deal through parliament. He is now backing Johnson’s leadership bid and was looking pretty happy at the event (below).

Earlier he tweeted out a Telegraph article from today citing a ComRes survey that suggested Johnson could sercure the Tories a 140-seat majority if he became the next PM.

Post-Boris PMQs about to start

After one of the favourites to replace her launched his campaign, outgoing prime minister Theresa May is about to take questions in parliament from MPs.

And we’re off

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says the UK is “in crisis” and manufacturing is “in crisis”. He bemoans the fact the Conservative Party is about to “foist” another un-elected prime minister on the country, and asks whether Theresa May has done anything to improve industrial strategy.

Mrs May responds that employment has hit record levels during her leadership.

Mr Corbyn hits back that since 2016 147,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost, apprenticeship starts have fallen by a quarter and a host of car manufacturers have presided over UK job losses.
May responds that she has made a real difference in creating record levels of employment.

Boris bandwagon rolls on

Boris Johnson’s opening pitch for the Conservative party leadership was markedly different from his purple prose of the past, writes the FT’s Sebastian Payne. He avoided any major gaffes, dodged the difficult questions and declined to go into much detail about resolving the UK’s political crisis.

There were two new messages from Mr Johnson. First in Downing Street, it would be not be about him. Prime Minister Johnson would be more “Boris & Co”. This was an attempt to reassure wavering Conservatives who are concerned he cannot do details and would need a strong team to get things done. Here he was hoping to address that weakness.

It was no coincidence that two of his former deputy mayors-turned-MPs, Kit Malthouse and James Cleverly, were present – along with several other prominent figures from City Hall. As he told the audience “with a team of stars, we brought this city together”, Mr Johnson harked backed several times to his successes in reducing knife crime and delivering the 2012 Olympics. There was scant mention of his much less successful period as foreign secretary.

The second core message was about defeating Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Johnson painted himself as the person who defeated the Labour left in London – under former mayor Ken Livingstone – and could do so again with Mr Corbyn. He pointed to his electoral success of winning the mayoralty when the Tories were 17 points behind Labour.

There was still some of the old Mr Johnson there: he labelled the four nations of the UK the “awesome foursome”, pledged to defeat “red toothed, red clawed socialism” and reflected on regional inequality “we are somehow achieving Grand Prix speeds without firing on all cylinders”. In speaking to the “left behinds” who voted to leave the EU in 2016, he echoed the first speech given by Theresa May on the steps of No.10.

But the biggest unanswered question for Mr Johnson is the Brexit deadlock. He said Britain “must” leave the EU on October 31 – but not that it will, which could leave some wiggle room for his position to evolve once in power. His tone towards crashing out of the bloc was a little softer than in recent weeks, yet there was no plan about how he would avoid it.

The biggest enemy to Mr Johnson’s victory in this race has always been himself. His professionalised, even slightly dull, performance will have pleased his parliamentary supporters and campaign team. He notably apologised for some of his offensive in the comments in the past. Unlike three years ago he appears serious about going to Downing Street and has decided to duly tone things down.

The Boris bandwagon rolls on.

Corbyn: no-deal Brexit will put thousands more jobs at risk

The opposition leader asks Mrs May to reiterate her idea that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for Britain.

Mr Corbyn, in a swipe at Brexiter leadership hopefuls, says “some of her colleagues need a reminder of that.”

Mrs May says the Conservatives are working with unions to support skilled and valued manufacturing workers.

She says Mr Corbyn has greatly increased the chances of no-deal by voting consistently against a deal she tried, and failed three times, to get through parliament.

Corbyn: the government is a failure

Jeremy Corbyn says the Theresa May’s legacy is one of failure and goes on to list a number of areas he says the government got it wrong, among others job losses in the automotive (among other cuts, Honda is closing its factory in Swindon) and steel sectors, failed to tackle social injustices, failure to deliver the economic boost to the north of the country it had promised and its failure on its renewables policy that is meant to lead to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The PM ignores the leader of the opposition and instead reels off a list of what she says are government successes, including record investment in infrastructure and transport in the north, a record level of employment and the boost to spending on the NHS.

Pound steady after Boris launch

Sterling hovered above $1.27 with traders fixated on a deluge of headlines on UK politics, writes the FT’s Adam Samson.

The currency was recently up 0.1 per cent on the US dollar, holding the trading range it has assumed for the past two weeks.

Britain’s currency has been stuck in the doldrums over rising concern over the prospect of a damaging no-deal Brexit – having pulled back dramatically from its 2019 peak just under $1.34.

Boris Johnson did little to assuage those fears on Wednesday when he vowed at the launch of his Conservative party leadership bid that the UK will exit the EU at the end of October this year.

Plaudits for PM

Labour MP Barry Sheerman tells the Commons he has tracked Theresa May’s “impressive career” since her maiden speech 22 years ago. He says the UK is facing a “democratic crisis” and asks her to reconsider “cutting and running” urging her to bring her “moral compass” to bear on her successors.

The PM replies that she will continue from the backbenches as an MP but she is a “woman of her word” so she had to step down. She has a dig at Mr Sheerman and says if he had voted for her deal “we wouldn’t be in this position.”

Next up: motion to block no-deal Brexit

Prime minister’s questions has now finished, with the focus largely on Theresa May’s legacy given that she is due to step down as leader and hand over to a new PM in about 6 weeks. Coming up shortly is the start of a debate triggered by Labour which has tabled a cross-party motion designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit before the new Conservative prime minister enters Downing Street.

Britain’s opposition party is planning to use the debate on Wednesday to try to seize control of the parliamentary agenda on June 25.

The motion is backed by the Liberal Democrats among others and the party’s leader Sir Vince Cable tweeted earlier: “I’m sponsoring a cross party motion led by Oliver Letwin designed to prevent an extreme No Deal Brexit if the next Conservative Prime Minister tries to get it through.”

He added: “Three Conservative leadership candidates have indicated they could pursue No Deal in a desperate attempt to deliver Brexit for the Conservative Party membership. We want to stop Brexit and we are therefore working with others who want to prevent a No Deal Brexit.”

Boris was spectacularly dull

While we wait for the start of the debate in the Commons (MPs are currently listening to the a government statement on green house gas emissions) ITV’s political editor Robert Peston has summed up Boris Johnson’s performance earlier at this campaign launch.

He says the favourite to replace Theresa May as leader of the Tory party and PM was “spectacularly dull. Uncharacteristically dull. His supporters will be thrilled. The bandwagon rolls on.”

Pre-Brexit liberal Boris

The FT’s Seb Payne says Boris Johnson tried to position himself today at the launch of his leadership bid by reminding people of his time as Mayor of London, which included the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is worth remembering that there are plenty of critics of the legacy in that role.

From his pitch today, Boris Johnson’s platform for prime minister is to hark back to pre-Brexit liberal Tory days of his mayoralty in 2008-2012.

But will it work? Source on a rival leadership campaign says “letter box Boris isn’t London 2012 Boris, no matter how hard he tries.”

The “letter box” reference is to comments made by Boris Johnson last year about the clothing worn by Muslim women.

Chancellor reminds Boris of the Brexit arithmetic

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has told a Bloomberg conference in London that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans would run into the same problems in the House of Commons and Brussels as those faced by Theresa May.

According to Bloomberg, Mr Hammond said it would be “very difficult or impossible” to leave the EU on Oct. 31, because MPs would move to safeguard against a no-deal Brexit.

He added:

The parliamentary arithmetic remains exactly the same, the European Union’s position remains exactly the same…Boris — and any other candidate — is perfectly entitled to say they need to test it themselves, but I can advise them the European Union is not likely to be willing to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement we’ve agreed with them.

I don’t think it would be in our national interest that we drive at this cliff edge at speed.

Still waiting on no-deal Brexit debate

We had expected the debate on the cross-party motion to try to block a no-deal Brexit to start shortly after 1pm but it appears the debate on greenhouse gas emissions is taking longer than anticipated.

Just a reminder that Labour has tabled a motion designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit backed by the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National party and other smaller parties as well as Tory grandee Oliver Letwin (pictured with the Queen below).

There are a few hoops to go through first though and Labour plans to use what is known as “an opposition day debate” to try to seize control of the parliamentary agenda on June 25.

Only at that point would it seek measures, including legislation, to help avoid a no-deal Brexit, while also preventing a future prime minister from suspending parliament to force through a disorderly exit against the wishes of MPs.

You can read the full story here

Electoral Commission : Brexit Party at high risk of impermissible donations

The Electoral Commission has released this statement following a visit in May to the headquarters of the Brexit Party, the new vehicle for arch-Brexiter Nigel Farage, whose success in the recent European elections is shaping the debate in the Tory leadership race.

While the EC makes no judgment on whether the Brexit Party has accepted donations that are not permitted under UK rules, it said:

We have concluded that the fundraising structure adopted by the party leaves it open to a high and on-going risk of receiving and accepting impermissible donations.

No-deal Brexit debate underway

Keir Starmer has opened Labour’s opposition day debate, setting out cross-party plans to set aside a day in the Commons on June 25 to debate ways to block a no-deal Brexit, reports the FT’s Jim Pickard. The shadow Brexit secretary said Labour and several smaller parties would use that opportunity to prevent either a no-deal scenario or – more radically – any attempt to “prorogue” or sidestep Parliament. Sir Keir warned that any future Tory prime minister who tried to take that action would be “foolish”.

No-deal is a sledgehammer

Keir Starmer quotes the CBI, the lobby group for big business, in warning that a no deal Brexit would take a “sledgehammer” to the economy and damage various industries including the automotive sector. “It’s a very serious suggestion we find ourselves in,” he says.

The Labour frontbencher tried to play down the impact of today’s vote, saying it is instead a “first and limited step” to ensure parliament can not be locked out of the Brexit process in the coming weeks and months.

MPs lack mechanism to block no-deal Brexit

The fact that this debate is taking place reflects the jitters among many MPs about whether Parliament has any available mechanisms to block a no-deal Brexit at the end of October. That after all is the default if the Commons does not agree a deal and the EU refuses to extend Article 50 again, explains the FT’s Jim Pickard.

A recent report by the influential Institute for Government laid out various reasons why Parliament might struggle to block no-deal, despite having voted against it several times already.

The paper observed that: “the no deal provision in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 – which would have required the Government to hold a vote in the Commons if no agreement had been reached with the EU by 21 January – has long expired.”

However many Remainers noted that the paper accepts the potentially decisive role of the Speaker – who is thought to be sympathetic to their case.

How many Tories will support the motion?

The real question today is how many Tory MPs will defy the government whip and vote with Labour, writes the FT’s Jim Pickard. Sam Gyimah (below), who supports a second referendum, has just signalled he is likely to be among them. Oliver Letwin is a signatory to the motion. Nick Boles (who recently quit the Conservative party) is another name to watch. Only a handful need to support the cross-party motion for it to succeed, unless – and this could be decisive – some Labour Brexiteers disobey their own party whip. The expectations are that this vote – due around 4pm – will be pretty close.

Shutting down parliament is dictatorial

Ken Clarke, the longest serving MP, former Tory cabinet minister and ardent Europhile, has just called the potential prorogue of Parliament to implement Brexit as “dictatorial”. It is worth remembering that Dominic Raab, one of the leading leadership contenders, has threatened to shut down parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit :

“I don’t see how any Parliament could defend such a possibility,” Mr Clarke says.

Motion would be a fundamental change

Steve Barclay, the Brexit secretary, is defending the government’s position opposing the motion by citing the potential “deviation” from Parliamentary procedure, the FT’s Jim Pickard reports. “It would be a fundamental change to the way this House operates, without any consultation with the procedure committee,” he says.

Barclay cites leading experts such as Vernon Bogdanor and Philip Cowley to argue the change would be a “fundamental” change to the usual relationship between parliament and government: “It would be unconstitutional.”

When the leader of the pro-second referendum Change UK party and former Tory MP Anna Soubry raises concerns that the debate was only allotted an hour and points out that so far the two front benches have taken up 40 minutes of the debate, John Bercow replies that in theory this debate could go on until 8:30pm.

Javid delays launch of leadership bid

Given that the debate in the Commons on the cross-party initiative to try to put in place an instrument to block a no-deal Brexit is going to overrun substantially, Sajid Javid has been forced to put back the launch of his leadership bid by at least an hour until 4:30pm, according to the FT’s Seb Payne.

Letwin calls on MPs to ‘defuse’ the no-deal Brexit bomb

Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin makes an emotional plea to his colleagues, saying this is the one chance MPs to “put out the fuse” to prevent the ticking Brexit timebomb going off in October.

He also explains how hard it was for him to put his name to a bill with Jeremy Corbyn, someone he “profoundly” disagrees with on much else.

Labour’s Snell says he made a mistake not to back May’s deal

Labour’s Gareth Snell (below) reveals that he will defy his party and abstain today. He admits he made a mistake not to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal last time and says he would vote for a deal if it came back to parliament. “It is inconceivable that we can continue with this line of debate where we seek to make the decisions we want to make and avoid making the decisions we have to make.”

Earlier William Cash, the arch Eurosceptic, attacked the motion as a “disgrace” and says it would be totally unacceptable for any MP who voted to trigger Article 50, which triggered the Brexit process, to back this bill, which he claims is just another way of Remain-supporting MPs to reverse Brexit,

Rivals query Sajid Javid’s organisational ability

The FT’s Seb Payne is at Millbank Tower to cover the already delayed launch of Sajid Javid’s leadership bid, which he has had to defer because of the ongoing debate in parliament in which MPs still have to vote. Seb reports that at least one of the rival camp’s is having fun at the expense of the Home Secretary:

Rival Tory leadership campaigns are scathing about Sajid Javid’s “crazy” decision to launch while the Commons is sitting.

“If you cant organise a decent launch, how can you expect to persuade MPs that you can run the country?” said an aide on an opposing campaign.

MPs start voting

After just under 2 hours of debate, MPs are now voting on the motion that would allow parliament, as opposed to the government, to take control of the Commons agenda on June 25 at which point they would look at measures to block any new PM from pushing through a no-deal Brexit without prior consultation. The vote is expected to be close.

Result expected soon

MPs are making their way back into the Commons chamber while they wait for their votes to be counted. We should have a result with in the next few minutes.

Javid on his way back to Millbank

The FT’s Seb Payne is hearing home secretary Sajid Javid is on his way back to Millbank where he is due to hold the now much-delayed launch of his leadership campaign.


Labour loses

MPs have rejected the motion by 309 to 298 to seize control of the parliamentary agenda on June 25. If it had passed, it would have allowed parliament to will seek measures, including legislation, to help avoid a no-deal Brexit, while also preventing a future prime minister from suspending parliament to force through a disorderly exit against the wishes of MPs.

Davidson launches Javid campaign

A bit later than planned, Sajid Javid’s campaign launch is finally underway, with an introduction by Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, Javid’s highest profile backer so far.

Davidson says the Conservatives need to be a party that can “build an electoral coalition” and “reach a new audience”. They need a leader who “understands shared identities”. The man the party needs, she says, is “Saj”.

Javid opens with childhood anecdote

Javid is up, and begins by talking about having to avoid racists on his way home from school as a six-year old.

He goes on to talk about his arrival at university, his marriage to a white Christian, and then his first encounter with an unwelcoming Tory party.

“I refuse to be labelled, to be put into a box”, he says.

He gets a cheer for saying how he punched a bully. And then a laugh for joking about Labour trying to ruin his launch (a reference to the opposition motion that just failed in the Commons).

We’ll be back, says Remainer MP

Labour Europhile MP Ben Bradshaw has criticised some of his Labour colleagues after parliament rejected a motion to allow MPs seize control of the Commons agenda on June 25, as part of efforts to block a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Bradshaw tweeted: “So disappointing that a small handful of Labour colleagues failed to support our motion aimed at preventing a new Tory PM closing down Parliament & crashing us out of the EU with no deal.

“We would have won otherwise. But we’ll be back. #brexitshambles #FinalSay #PeoplesVote.”

Sterling slips against dollar

Sterling slipped back below $1.27 late on Wednesday afternoon, wiping out the day’s gains, after MPs rejected a cross-party bid for Labour to take control of the Commons agenda, reports FastFT’s Adam Samson.

The currency was recently down 0.3 per cent in choppy trade at $1.2689. It marked a significant pullback from the high of the day of $1.2758. The pound was down 0.12 per cent against the euro at €1.1217.

The plan, tabled by Labour, would have allowed parliament to seek measures to potentially help avoid a damaging no-deal Brexit later in 2019.

The UK currency has been stuck between $1.26 and $1.28 for much of the past month amid deepening gloom over the prospect of a chaotic UK exit from the EU.

Keir Starmer: ‘This is just the start’

In a statement issued after Labour’s motion was defeated, Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said: “This is a disappointing, narrow defeat. But this is just the start, not the end of our efforts to block no deal. Labour stands ready to use whatever mechanism it can to protect jobs, the economy and communities from the disastrous consequences of a no deal Brexit.”

He adds: “Any Tory leadership candidates should know that parliament will continue to fight against no deal.”

Javid pitches himself as fresh-faced moderate choice

Javid goes heavy on his back story, then talks up his ability to reach new parts of the electorate as a One Nation Conservative. He points to Ruth Davidson’s success in Scotland as a blueprint.

He says he doesn’t want to “galvanise a narrow base”, a shrinking one at that. But instead he wants to convince more people to take a fresh look at the Tories.

“Not the same old insiders with the same old school ties,” he says – a dig a Boris Johnson, among others.

Climate change, Grenfell, Windrush all get a mention.

£100bn infrastructure fund

There have been a lots of buzzwords in this speech such as his plans to make the country “fairer, stronger and more united”. He wants everyone in the UK to know that “if they have a go they will have every opportunity to succeed”.

In a rare concrete policy initiative, Mr Javid outlines a £100bn infrastructure fund that will help to create jobs and rebalance the economy. He says the fund would be based outside London “with a core aim of rebalancing our economy.”

Javid Q&A focused on Johnson’s rhetoric

At the start of the questions from the press, Javid assures Beth Rigby she won’t get booed at his launch “just for doing your job” – that’s after the audience at the Johnson launch earlier today jeered the Sky News reporter for asking about some of Mr Johnson’s past comments.

Second question is whether Johnson is adding “Trumpian tactics” to British politics. He responds saying that he wants to “unite people” and that focus on division “only leads to ruin”.

Next he’s asked what the difference is between him and Johnson. Javid responds: “Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news”, he adds, pointing out the difference between the two of them. ” I am different, I look different, my background is very different and I think that connects with 95% of the population.”

Not another robot

Theresa May’s rigid style earned her the unfortunate nickname of “Maybot” but the FT’s Seb Payne says home secretary Sajid Javid has shaken of his reputation for a somewhat mechanical delivery.

That was Javid’s best speech to date: impassioned, funny yet serious at times, telling his backstory and his (broad) plans for the future too. Some of Ruth Davidson has clearly rubbed off on him, delivery improved from the robotic stiffness in the past.

Javid painting himself as anti-establishment “change” candidate, wielding a little populism to “take on the Westminster establishment” and those with “old school barbs and old school ties.

Worth pointing out that the home secretary used to have a career in the City at Deutsche Bank.

That’s it for today

We are going to wrap up our live coverage of today’s political events in Westminster. After Boris Johnson, the favourite to become the next PM, launched his leadership bid by insisted the country had to prepare to leave the EU on October 31 without a deal (while insisting he didn’t think that would happen), MPs defeated a cross-party bid, led by Labour, to trigger a way for parliament to legislate for a no-deal.

Some opponents of a hard Brexit have insisted they will not be swayed by the narrow defeat – the government won by 11 votes.

Home secretary Sajid Javid also launched his leadership bid presenting himself as an anti-establishment “change” candidate and a One Nation Tory.

Thanks for joining us.