Boris Johnson has already a couple of records under his belt.
He lost a by-election faster than any prime minister in 100 years and now he’s lost a vote faster than any other too – his first.
And this vote mattered so much more than those minor defeats, lost to history, of all of his predecessors. For with this vote, the prime minister has lost one of the key weapons in the armoury of any prime minister – control of the order paper, the ability to dictate what the House of Commons does.
He, the PM, who is supposed to command the Commons, is now but mere bystander, forced to watch on.
Jacob Rees-Mogg might have looked rather relaxed (if not actively louche) but ministers ought not to have been.
They have committed to expelling 21 MPs. On the day they’ve lost their majority, that will now mean the Conservatives are nowhere near any governing majority. There are now only 289 Conservative MPs, down from 317 at the election.
Forget the parliamentary chicanery, forget what this means for Brexit. The true significance of the venting is that in some ways, it marks the end of the Tory Party European civil war which has raged for 30 years.
It has done so by means of redefining what Toryism is. It used to be said that the Tory Party was a broad church.
A party without Philip Hammond, Ken Clarke and the rest, figures who were once considered the beating heart of the Thatcherite economic right, it is more sect than church. The Eurosceptics, the Brexiter right of the party has won.
There is one consolation for the rebels though. They may no longer be in the Tory Party but with control of the order paper, they are in power.
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