David Cameron was forced to ditch dinner and head for the House of Commons tonight, as a Labour-led rebellion threatened to derail a vote on EU police and criminal justice measures.
The Prime Minister's evening at the Lord Mayor's Banquet was interrupted by private secretary Chris Martin, who appeared to suggest Mr Cameron make his excuses and leave in order to cast his vote on whether a controversial Government motion should stand.
MPs voted tonight on a government motion to opt back into a number of EU police and criminal justice measures.
The motion was eventually carried with an overwhelming majority of 426 votes (464 to 38), yet only after the government was spooked by a Labour motion on whether the entire debate should be abandoned.
Lambasted by its own backbenchers and the Commons Speaker for denying a vote on the particular issue of whether to rejoin the European arrest warrant, the government’s original motion had sparked controversy in the House.
It was first thought that it would include a vote on whether to rejoin 35 EU criminal justice measures - including the issue of EU arrest warrants - yet it was revealed today to only cover 11.
Dressed in white tie, David Cameron and other members of the Conservative leadership rushed away from this evening's annual Lord’s Mayor Banquet early, after shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper used a rare commons procedure to try to postpone the vote.
Cooper used a “question now not be put” procedure to attempt to put back the original vote to a later date when MPs could vote on all measures - including the European arrest warrant.
The Labour motion was defeated by 272 to 229, before the original government motion was passed.