Wrong results announced in lockdown extension vote, Speaker reveals

Sir Lindsay Hoyle forced to correct numbers after embarrassing mix-up

Adam Forrest
Thursday 17 June 2021 11:24
House of Commons gets lockdown extension vote wrong

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has revealed that the result of the vote on extending Covid restrictions in England was wrongly announced.

It was announced on Wednesday evening that the four-week delay had been supported by 461 votes to 60, a majority of 401.

But on Thursday the Speaker told MPs that there had been an embarrassing mistake in the count – revealing that an even larger majority had been in favour of the extension.

Sir Lindsay explained: “I have received a report from the tellers in the aye lobby … [Conservative whip] Maria Caulfield has informed me that the number of aye votes was erroneously reported as 461, rather than 489.

“I will direct the clerk to correct the numbers in the journal accordingly. The ayes were 489, the noes were 60. The ayes have it. The names were correctly recorded in Hansard.”

A group of 51 Tory MPs rebelled against the government on the continued restrictions last night – but Labour backed the month-long delay “with a heavy heart”.

The result of the vote means nightclubs will remain close and strict limits on numbers for sports events, theatres and cinemas will remain in place until 19 July.

Several furious Tory MPs criticised Boris Johnson for the four-week delay, which he said was forced on him by surging cases of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Backbencher Richard Drax accused decision-makers in government of “moving the goalposts” after making the nation feel “muzzled, acquiescent and fearful”.

Former minister Tim Loughton said: “I’m done with making excuses to my constituents for when their lives might just get back to some degree of normality.”

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