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All of Boris Johnson’s tactics have blown up in his face

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The House of Commons has been sitting for only five days since Boris Johnson became prime minister six weeks ago – and in the last four of those days, last week and today, all the prime minister’s plans have been torn up and thrown back in his face.

He saw his opponents coming and tried to foil them. But he couldn’t suspend parliament altogether and, by restricting the number of days it could sit, he succeeded only in injecting a sense of urgency into the Conservative MPs who disagreed with his policy of getting out of the EU “come what may” at the end of October.

So last week, the House of Commons voted to take control of its own timetable from the government. It was such an unusual manoeuvre, using an emergency debate in a way it had never been used before, that many constitutional experts had said it couldn’t happen.

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© Independent