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LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly survived several key votes on her Brexit plan on Tuesday evening, but her government was accused by a female member of parliament on maternity leave (1
Jo Swinson, deputy chairman of the centrist, a pro-European Liberal Democrat party said she voted against the controversial trade bill, but was at home with her three Week old baby. She accused the government of breaking an informal agreement to "win at all costs".
An agreement known as "mating" is used when a legislator is not standing for election. Competitive parties usually agree that a legislator who has a contrary opinion of the missing person will not vote on the subject so that their absence can wipe each other out.
Unable to vote in the House of Commons, Swinson was "paired" with a member of the ruling Conservative Party leader, Brandon Lewis.
However, Lewis voted on two amendments that he apparently had not accepted before, prompting Swinson to ask May, "How deep will your government bow down?" and accused the party of the prime minister "desperate stuff."
Lewis abstained on most of the day's votes, but then proceeded to vote over the two closest votes the government won by six and lost by four polls.
Although "informal", pairing is seen as one of the ways Britain's sometimes archaic lower chamber can help female legislators having children, as well as parliamentarians who may feel uncomfortable.
Lewis apologized via Twitter Tu Esdayday Night and said his votes were the result of a "fair mistake", adding, "I know how important the couple is to everyone, especially new parents, and I apologize. "
Previously, Swinson had demanded an explanation. "Do not try to be nonsense about a mistake – that's a calculated, deliberate breach of trust," she said. "There is a word for it – fraud."
Swinson said that measures to introduce proxy voting in Parliament had previously been postponed by the government, as legislators on maternity leave were in could rely on the mating system in the meantime.
Female legislators from all major British parties have helped to tweet their support for Swinson after the polls.
Yvette Cooper, a Labor MP and former minister, said May & # 39; s party was "dishonest" and "desperate". Tuesday's polls were the most recent dramatic dispute over the Brexit plan in May, and their Conservative government was deeply divided between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who remain closely linked to the bloc, England's largest trading partner want.
Their fragile takeover was further weakened last week by the resignation of leading ministers and public criticism from President Donald Trump.