The worst Government defeats in Parliament

The Commons vote of 149 against Mrs May’s EU withdrawal agreement on 12 March was described in many parts of the media as the fourth worst government defeat ever. Alistair Lexden corrected the mistake in a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on 14 March (a correction also appeared in The Times at his prompting).

SIR - Tuesday’s vote was the fifth, not the fourth, largest defeat suffered by a government in the Commons.

In January 1855, a coalition under the Tory Lord Aberdeen lost a vote of confidence by 157 votes. In October 1924, Ramsay MacDonald’s  first Labour government lost two votes, by 161 and 166. Mrs May’s January defeat by 230 holds the Commons record. 

The worst parliamentary defeat ever occurred in the Lords on September 8 1893, when they threw out Gladstone’s Second Home Rule Bill by 419 to 41.

Lord Lexden (Con)
London SW1