One fifth of Labour MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn's three-line whip by voting against Theresa May's Brexit bill in yesterday's vote in parliament. Following a second day of re-hashed arguments in the House of Commons, 498 MPs voted in favour of giving a second reading to the bill that grants the government power to invoke article 50 while 11 voted against the bill.

SNP largest block

As expected, all 50 SNP MPs voted against the bill. However, 47 Labour MPs voted against the bill, which came as a bit of a surprise. The only Conservative Party MP to vote against Theresa May's bill was Ken Clarke, who delivered an impassioned pro European Union speech the previous day.

Before MPs cast their vote, the Labour leader received word of two fresh resignations by MPs that believed they couldn't vote against their conscience.

Racheal Maskell, the shadow environment secretary, and Dawn Butler, the shadow secretary for diverse communities, stepped down from their positions to join Jo Stevens as members of the Labour party that have resigned over Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn's implementation of a three-line whip.

Maskell said: 'I said I would first of all serve my constituents and that has always been my priority. My constituents voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union and I couldn't vote against them'. Jeremy Corbyn thanked both departing members of the shadow cabinet, branding them as 'great assets to the Labour Party'. Once again, Corbyn faces another shadow cabinet reshuffle after several MPs resigned when he was elected as Labour party leader last summer.

Delight in the Tory Party

The foreign secretary and leading leave campaigner, Boris Johnson, issued a statement following the vote: 'Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, voted in favour of allowing Theresa May and the government the right to trigger article 50. This is a momentous occasion and a great day in British history. Lest we forget that we are leaving the European Union and not leaving Europe. We will continue to make an amazing contribution to the continent'.