After the government suffered its first defeat in the Commons on Wednesday, questions are being asked over what and who was to blame. Aside from the 11 Brexit rebels who chose to back an amendment calling for a ‘meaningful’ vote on the final deal, some are pointing the finger of blame at the new Chief Whip, Julian Smith. With a vote next week on Theresa May’s amendment to put the date of Britain’s exit into the bill, the pressure is on for Smith to prevent any further embarrassment to the Prime Minister.
Happily, Smith appears to be taking things in his stride. Taking inspiration from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who today announced their wedding date, Smith said the royal couple had set a ‘great example’ as ‘agreeing the date shouldn’t be hard’:
Let’s hope for Smith’s sake that his rebel colleagues take the same view…