Boris Johnson in fresh bid for snap election after MPs reject 12 December vote

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Boris Johnson will make a fresh attempt to secure an early election on 12 December after MPs rejected his appeal to end the Brexit deadlock by going to the polls.

The Prime Minister had urged the Commons to back his plan for a poll on December 12 - which would have provided time to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the campaign starts.

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Picture: AFP

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Picture: AFP

But MPs voted 299 to 70, short of the two-thirds majority needed, in favour of a snap election.

Mr Johnson confirmed the government would now table a 'short bill' that would only require a simple majority and would set aside the provisions of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

It comes after the Liberal Democrats and SNP indicated over the weekend that they would back such an approach if the poll was held on December 9.

However, the Prime Minister said he was sticking to his preferred 12 December date, prompting the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford to warn Mr Johnson that the nationalists would only back the government if there was no attempt to reintroduce and rush through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Picture: AFP

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Picture: AFP

"We will not allow this paralysis to continue, and one way or another we must proceed straight to an election," Mr Johnson told MPs after the government's defeat.

"So later on this evening, the Government will give notice of presentation for a short Bill for an election on December 12 so we can finally get Brexit done."

He added: "This House cannot any longer keep this country hostage."

Mr Johnson concluded: "Now that no-deal is off the table, we have a great new deal, and it's time for the voters to have a chance to pronounce on that deal and to replace this dysfunctional Parliament with a new Parliament that can get Brexit done so the country can move on."

Responding, Mr Blackford said: "It is clear that there is a desire on the Opposition benches to bring forward a Bill that can give us an election. But we don't trust this Prime Minister and we don't trust this Prime Minister for good reason.

"So the Prime Minister, if he is going to bring forward a Bill, must give an absolute cast-iron assurance that up until the passage of that Bill and the rising of Parliament, that there will be no attempt to bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill."

Rushing into the Commons chamber having missed Mr Johnson's announcement, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We will obviously look and scrutinise that Bill and we look forward to a clear, definitive decision that no deal is absolutely off the table and there is no danger of this Prime Minister not sticking to his word because he has some form on these matters and taking this country out of the EU without any deal whatsoever, knowing the damage it will do to jobs and industries all across this country."