July 18, 2019 / 2:09 PM / 5 months ago

UK business and international development ministers both abstained on Brexit vote - aides

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s business minister and international development minister both abstained in a key vote on Thursday which the government lost, aides said, defying an instruction from Prime Minister Theresa May.

The government suffered a heavy defeat earlier on Thursday as lawmakers backed a plan which would make it more difficult for May’s successor to force through a no-deal Brexit by suspending parliament.

Neither Greg Clark, business minister, or Rory Stewart, international development minister, intend to resign over the vote, the aides said.

The underdog candidate to be the next British leader, Jeremy Hunt, said on Twitter he had missed the vote because he incorrectly thought he had been given permission to do so by party organisers.

Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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