THERE was chaos in Westminster yesterday as Theresa May’s authority as Prime Minister disintegrated.

In one of the most bizarre events in recent political history, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay told MPs “to act in the national interest” and back a motion in the name of the Tory leader. Moments later he then promptly voted against it.

The motion, which gives May a mandate to ask for an extension to the Article 50 process, passed by 413 to 202.

Barclay wasn’t the only minister to oppose it though.

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International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, and Welsh secretary Alun Cairns all trooped through the no lobby.

So weakened is May it’s unclear if any of them will be sacked. The Prime Minister is still reeling after four of her remain supporting cabinet colleagues – including Scottish Secretary David Mundell – voted against government policy on a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday.

In all, some 188 Tories voted against the motion, only 112 of the party’s MPs supported it.

Under normal circumstances, it would impossible for a serving Prime Minister to be so utterly rejected by their cabinet and their party and stay in post. But somehow, and quite incredibly, for Downing Street, yesterday was probably regarded as a good day – the government’s motion passed and all the opposition attempts to amend it failed.

Brexit could now be delayed by three months, to 30 June, if MPs back May’s deal in a vote next week.

But if they reject her deal, then the Prime Minister will seek a longer extension, any delay has to be agreed by all 27 EU member states.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was scathing, saying: “This lot are a government in name only.

“It’s long past time they were gone. What an unprincipled shambles,” she added.

One of the amendments defeated in the Commons, tabled by Sarah Wollaston of The Independent Group (TIG), would have forced the government to call a second referendum on Brexit.

It was rejected by 334 votes to 85, with Labour abstaining from voting.

The defeat was met with glee by Brexiteers who said it killed off any hope of a People’s Vote.

“A second referendum, the so called ‘losers’ vote’, has now been defeated in the House of Commons so is it is off the table,” Jacob-Rees Mogg tweeted.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party were blasted for not taking part.

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Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader at Westminster accused the party of committing “fraud”.

Wollaston’s colleague in TIG, Anna Soubry, asked Labour’s frontbench Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, to explain his party’s position “It seems that the opposition policy has changed again,” she said.

“As I understand it from his party conference, having failed to get its own version of Brexit through, it would then seek a general election, if that failed it would then back a People’s Vote.

“Now it seems that his party’s policy is to compromise with the government to facilitate Brexit.”

Starmer said Labour supported a People’s Vote, but that today is “a question about whether Article 50 should be extended and whether we can find a purpose”.

He pointed to a statement from the People’s Vote campaign in which they argued that now was not the time for MPs to vote for a new referendum.

The group said it was “the time for parliament to declare it wants an extension of article 50 so that, after two-and-a-half years of vexed negotiations, our political leaders can finally decide on what Brexit means”.

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But Blackford, told Starmer, that while the timing might not be perfect, MPs should make their support for a new referendum known.

“We have that opportunity with the amendment today to express the views of people in the House of Commons that we must have a People’s Vote,” he said.

“I implore him not to stand against the amendment today, but I’m afraid Labour will be found out for what they are, a fraud, and they’re participating in Brexit happening, if they fail to back the People’s Vote happening this afternoon.”

Reacting to the result on the Wollaston amendment, the SNP leader in Westminster called Labour “absolutely spineless”.

“An opportunity to drive forward the need for such a vote and Labour flunk it,” he tweeted.

Not all Labour MPs abstained – 25 voted for a new referendum, including Scots Ian Murray, Ged Killen and Martin Whitfield. Another 17 voted against.

Another amendment, which would have kickstarted a series of indicative votes, to allow MPs to take back control, and indicate what Brexit solution they do want, was narrowly rejected.

But David Lidington, May’s de-facto deputy, indicated in the Commons that if the government lost the next meaningful vote, the government would allow MPs to hold a series of votes on possible ways forward.