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British MPs block PM's bid for snap general election

LONDON, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed in his bid Wednesday night for a snap general election after MPs backed a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The blow for Johnson's "do or die" Brexit strategy came after he suffered two humiliating defeats in the House of Commons earlier, his third in 24 hours.

In the vote, Johnson won 298 votes for an election, and 56 voted against. But as the prime minister failed to win two thirds of support from MPs, his bid for an election has failed. Johnson would have needed 434 votes to succeed in his bid to dissolve parliament.

Urging MPs to back an election on Oct. 15, Johnson said the no-deal bill passed minutes earlier essentially ended Brexit negotiations and handed control to Brussels.

"Today parliament has voted to stop, to scupper any serious negotiations," he told MPs.

Johnson said the purpose of the no-deal bill was to take away the right of Britain to determine how long it wants to stay in the EU, and to hand the decision to Brussels.

Indicating why he wants a general election, Johnson said it would enable the country to now decide whether the leader of the opposition, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, or he goes to Brussels.

"I think it's very sad that MP's have voted like this, I do, I think It's a great dereliction of their duty," he added.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans accused the main opposition Labour Party of running scared of a general election after spending two years asking for one.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called Johnson's proposed dissolution of parliament a desperate and utterly cynical move.

Former Conservative MP, Anna Soubry said the no-deal bill, backed earlier by MPs, had been carefully drafted in the best interests of the country and was not about stopping Brexit, but was about stopping no deal.

After the result was announced Johnson criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"He has become the first leader of the opposition in the democratic history of our country to refuse an invitation to an election," said Johnson.

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