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In the words of BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Theresa May’s Brexit deal wasn’t just defeated on Tuesday night, it was crushed. She lost by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history – with 118 of her own Conservative MPs among them. In normal times, a prime ministerial resignation would inevitably follow, but these aren’t normal times.
Jeremy Corbyn reacted to the defeat by tabling a vote of no confidence in her government. That vote will take place on Wednesday evening and if the Labour leader wins, it could trigger a general election. He’s unlikely to succeed though – because despite voting against her deal, Mrs May’s own MPs, and those of the Northern Irish DUP, don’t want to open the door of Downing Street to Mr Corbyn. If the Labour leader fails, pressure will grow on him to throw his weight behind a second referendum as the only option left to stop Mrs May. Scotland’s first minister is among those backing that option.
European Council President Donald Tusk suggested that cancelling Brexit altogether was now “the only positive solution”, but Mrs May insisted that wasn’t going to happen. She said that if she survived the confidence vote she would offer cross-party talks to find a way forward – and presumably go back to Brussels to see what changes can be made. Brexiteer and former Tory minister Boris Johnson said she now had “a massive mandate” to do just that.
Find out how your MP voted on Tuesday night and see how this defeat ranks in UK political history. We break down what could happen next, and here, political correspondent Chris Mason sums the whole thing up in one minute.
Stick with us for continuing live coverage throughout Wednesday.
At least 15 people have been killed in an attack by suspected militants on a luxury hotel complex in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. A US citizen is among the dead, with reports too of a British victim. The BBC’s Joe Inwood, at the scene, said every person escaping the Dusit complex had the same story – heavily armed men firing indiscriminately, using bombs and automatic rifles to kill. Militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility – read more about who they are.
YouTube says it has banned clips that depict dangerous or emotionally distressing “pranks”. The move comes in response to so-called “challenges” that have sometimes resulted in death or injury. Most recently, one inspired by the Netflix film Birdbox involved carrying out activities – such as driving – while blindfolded. At least one person is known to have crashed as a result.
Murder on stage stuns a divided Poland
By Adam Easton, BBC News, Warsaw
The murder of the 53-year-old liberal mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, has left Poland in shock. A 27-year-old man from Gdansk has been charged with the killing. Named as Stefan W, he reportedly has a history of mental illness, and was released from prison last December after serving five and a half years for armed robbery. But there is a feeling that the mayor’s murder was not just the result of a perhaps mentally ill man seeking revenge for a perceived injustice. Many commentators are blaming Poland’s bitter political divisions and widespread online hate speech.
What the papers say
Wednesday’s papers leave readers in no doubt about the scale of Theresa May’s Brexit defeat. The Daily Telegraph’s front page calls it “a complete humiliation” for the prime minister. For Patrick Kidd, in his sketch in the Times, this was “no close-run thing, no 52-48 split, but a pasting”. It went even beyond the most lurid predictions, says Robert Shrimsley in the Financial Times. And yet later today, he adds, the PM will still insist she’s the best person for the job. The Daily Mail says the rejection of Mrs May’s deal puts Brexit in doubt – Jonathan Freedland, in the Guardian, describes it as leaving the decision to exit the EU suspended in a state of limbo, if not purgatory. Finally, the Sun, in its own inimitable way, shows a dodo with Mrs May’s face on it – and the headline: “Brextinct”.
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On this day
1979 The Shah of Iran flees into exile following months of increasingly violent protests against his regime