Jeremy Corbyn has called for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, but pulled back from trying to force a general election.
After an afternoon of confusion, the Labour leader announced he wanted a Commons vote because of the way May had handled the vote on her Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister cancelled a vote by MPs on the agreement last week, and announced on Monday Parliament would not now get its say on the deal until the week beginning January 14.
Corbyn described that delay – which would be over a month – as unacceptable as he announced his plan to table a motion of no confidence.
However, as the vote is in the Prime Minister and not the government, it holds no legal force and would not set the ball rolling on a general election.
It is also unclear when the vote would be held, as the government would have to create time in parliament for the motion.
Speaking in the Commons, Corbyn said: “It’s very clear that it’s very bad, unacceptable, that we should be waiting almost a month before we should have a meaningful vote on a crucial issue facing the future of this country.
“The Prime Minister has obdurately refused to ensure a vote took place on the date she agreed.”
May delayed the vote in order to seek legal reassurances from the EU that the controversial UK-wide customs union backstop would only ever be enacted on temporary basis after Brexit.
Speaking in the Commons for the first time since she met EU leaders in Brussels last week, May said: "My fellow EU leaders could not have been clearer – they do not want to use this backstop. They want to agree the best possible future relationship with us. There is no plot to keep us in the backstop.
May added: "As formal conclusions from a European Council, these commitments have legal status and should be welcomed."
She still faces an uphill struggle trying to get her agreement through parliament, but one veteran eurosceptic Sir Edward Leigh urged her to “keep calm and carry on” in an indication of softening opposition to her plan.