PM hopeful Jeremy Hunt apologises for failing to vote against move his government would oppose

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 18 July 2019 in Editorial

Jeremy Hunt has had to apologise after he failed to vote on an issue that any government he led in a week’s time would be opposed to.

The Foreign Secretary accidentally “abstained” on an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill that would in effect stop a future PM from suspending Parliament to force through Brexit on 31 October.

It passed by an overwhelming 315 votes to 274, with anti-no deal Cabinet big hitters, including Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and Greg Clark sitting it out alongside him.

But the clearly flustered leadership hopeful, who is reaching the end of his two-month quest to prove he is as keen on Brexit as rival Boris Johnson, quickly jumped on to Twitter to assure the nation it was all because he thought he had been paired with another MP.

With punctuation and full-words sacrificed after what can only be imagined as a furious fumbling for his phone, he shot back: “I missed votes today because I thought I was slipped and it turns out I was not.Apologies to my colleagues & Whips Office.My  position is that parliament should NOT restrict the hands of an incoming govt in this way & I remain opposed to how parl voted.”

The man who last week warned his rival that "getting details wrong is fine for a newspaper columnist, but not if you’re prime minister" may want to commit the weekend to some diary planning in case of a shock victory next Tuesday.

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