Boris Johnson's bid for early election fails

By Bianca Britton and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 4:21 AM ET, Tue September 10, 2019
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9:30 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

Parliament is now officially prorogued

The prorogation ceremony is now complete -- and Britain's Parliament has been suspended until October 14.

It brings to an end one of the longest sessions in Parliament's history, which has still failed to produce a path forward for Brexit.

MPs will return for a Queen's Speech in mid-October, but you can expect plenty of twists and turns in British politics before then.

For now, though, we're closing our live coverage. Thanks for following along with us on a dramatic day in Westminster.

Read our full report here.

8:30 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

Prorogation ceremony stalled by protest

An extraordinary scene has broken out in the middle of a traditionally polite prorogation ceremony.

Black Rod, the traditional gatekeeper of the House of Lords, walked into the House of Commons to request the presence of MPs in the upper chamber for the pomp -- as is tradition.

But a group of opposition lawmakers held up sheets of paper with "Silenced" written on them, and outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow was not in the mood to entertain the traditional theatricality of the event.

In a remarkable show of dissent, Bercow sat slumped in his chair and made his anger with Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue Parliament clear.

He said he would "play (his) part" in the ceremony, before adding, "this is not, however, a normal prorogation. It is not typical, it is not standard, it is one of the longest for decades"

Eventually he reluctantly rose, and was joined with Conservative MPs to make the walk to the House of Lords. Chants of "Shame on you!" reigned down in the chamber from MPs as the ceremony got back underway.

8:09 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

What's going on?

It's just gone 1 a.m. in London, and a mammoth day in Parliament is coming to an end.

MPs and Lords are putting on their wigs and gowns to get ready for the prorogation ceremony, and no, that isn't a joke.

The ceremony will officially bring to an end a historically long session of Parliament, which has seen two prime ministers and years of debate over Brexit.

7:50 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

Johnson attacks opposition parties for blocking early election

Watch Boris Johnson's response after he lost an attempt to secure a snap general election for the second time in a matter of days.

7:44 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

At least Johnson's been consistent, jokes SNP leader

In a brief response to the vote rejecting Boris Johnson's call for a snap election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I hope the Prime Minster will reflect on the issue of prorogation, and shutting down Parliament to avoid a government being held to account, because that is exactly what he has done today and proposes to do to this country” Jeremy Corbyn says in his response to the vote."

"At least he's been consistent," SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford adds of Johnson. "He's lost every vote he's brought to this House since he became Prime Minister."

"Perhaps that's the reason that he's tried to shut down democracy this evening," Blackford added.

7:41 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

The opposition think they know better than the people, Boris Johnson says after losing election bid

"I earlier urged the House to trust the people but once again the opposition think they know better," Boris Johnson said after losing his early election appeal a second time.

"They want to delay Brexit yet again ... not only have they refused to choose the way ahead, they have now twice denied the British people their say in an election."

"Now the House will be suspended until mid-October," he said and added that he hoped the opposition uses that time "to reflect."

"No matter how many devices this Parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest ... this government will not delay Brexit any further," he said.

"They cannot hide forever," Johnson told Corbyn. "The moment will come when the people will finally get their chance to deliver their verdict."

7:37 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

BREAKING: Boris Johnson’s bid for an early election fails

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost a second attempt in the House of Commons to force an early general election. The motion, which needed a majority of two thirds to pass, fell far short of that threshold.

Only 293 MPs voted for the motion, with 46 against. Johnson needed the support of two-thirds of MPs (at least 434) to trigger an early election.

7:18 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

HAPPENING NOW: Lawmakers voting on Johnson's election request

After a lengthy debate, MPs are now filing into the voting lobbies to have their say on Boris Johnson's motion.

He's asking to be granted an early general election -- but a united front from opposition parties is set to hand him another parliamentary defeat.

Voting will take about 15 minutes.

7:07 p.m. ET, September 9, 2019

This is not a student debating society, Jo Swinson tells Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's motion for an early general election is getting a predictably frosty reception from opposition lawmakers during the House of Commons debate.

"Any general election must be undertaken in a period of calm, with an orderly approach, not in a period of national crisis," Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said.

"The Prime Minster is playing at this. In his speech tonight, he made it sound like this was sport, like this was a game. This is not a student debating society. This is about the national interest," she added.

Earlier, the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told Johnson "we’ve had enough of this dictatorship," and warned him "his days in office are numbered."