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LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn has failed to turn up to an "emergency" Brexit rally outside Parliament, despite urging his supporters to join him in defending EU citizens living in the UK.
The Labour leader had called for supporters to join him at the event in Parliament Square on Monday evening to "defend the rights of EU citizens who have made a life here."
The rally, organised by the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group, was called to support an amendment to the Brexit bill that would have guaranteed the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
However, Corbyn failed to show, and only around 150 people turned up to the event outside Parliament.
Join me tonight in Parliament Square and help defend the rights of EU citizens who have made a life here https://t.co/VylEA7idFd
The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott both addressed the rally. Corbyn did not appear either before or after the vote on the amendments, citing "other commitments".
"The vote [on the Brexit bill] began later than expected and he has other commitments now," one source told the Mirror.
Source explains JC's no-show at protest: "The vote began later than expected and he has other commitments now".
MPs voted by 335 votes to 287 to overturn the Lords amendment on EU citizens, with six Labour MPs joining with the Conservatives.
Just two Conservative MPs, Alex Chalk and Tania Mathias, rebelled on the issue.
Labour MPs were whipped by Corbyn to vote in favour of the Brexit bill. The passage of the bill means Theresa May will have the power to trigger Article 50 — the two year process by which Britain will leave the EU.
- Theresa May is poised to trigger Article 50 as early as Tuesday after Brexit bill passes
- Brexit Secretary David Davis: There is no time to give MPs a meaningful vote on leaving the EU
- Stephen Hawking: Jeremy Corbyn is a 'disaster' and should step down as Labour leader