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Boris Johnson mocked in parliament after winning first vote in 8 attempts as PM

Vote marks Mr Johnson's first victory in Commons since replacing Theresa May at No 10 almost three months ago

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 15 October 2019 16:12 BST
MPs cheer as Boris Johnson wins first Commons vote

Boris Johnson has secured his first victory in the House of Commons almost three months after becoming prime minister, leading to cheers from Tory MPs.

Ahead of Tuesday's vote on environmental regulations, the prime minister had lost seven divisions in the chamber – more defeats than Tony Blair's entire decade at Number 10.

"I realise this is a unique moment," the deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing teased, as it became clear Mr Johnson's government had won its first vote.

MPs voted 280 to 206 – a government majority of 76 – in favour of the uncontroversial Environment (Legislative Functions from Directives) regulations 2019.

The statutory instrument seeks to transfer post-Brexit a series of legislative functions from the EU to the UK connected to environmental policy areas, including air quality and marine and water quality.

As the vote result was announced, securing Mr Johnson's first victory, Conservative MPs cheered in the House of Commons.

Since replacing Theresa May as Tory leader in July, the prime minister has failed to stop MPs forcing through legislation to avoid a no-deal Brexit, fell short of the required two-thirds majority for a general election, and was defeated on a usually uncontentious motion to approve a short recess for the Conservative Party conference.

The defeats highlight how Mr Johnson's administration will struggle to pass any radical legislation in the Commons – prompting descriptions of a "zombie government".

Even with the support of the Tories' supply and confidence partners, the DUP, the government has a working majority of minus 45, which is why the prime minister has been keen to test his chances at a general election.

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