Video captured the moment Tory MP Jo Churchill realised she forgot to vote in a House of Commons amendment about Brexit, and she has been blamed for a crucial defeat that could help parliament block a no-deal Brexit.
Churchill can be seen covering her face with her hands as results of the vote were read out.
According to The Times, colleagues of the MP for Bury St Edmunds said the Tory Whip had agreed to act as a proxy for Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North. The 55-year-old cast that vote but had forgotten to cast her own.
MPs were successful by a single vote, with a vote of 294 to 293 in favour of changing legislation.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve tabled an amendment that requires ministers to make bimonthly progress reports about re-establishing Northern Ireland’s collapsed government.
Churchill did not appear on the division lists.
The amendment could make it harder for the next PM, whether it’s Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, to suspend parliament and force through a no-deal Brexit.
People noticed Churchill's seeming shock online and reactions were mixed
Some thanked the MP for what appears to be an accidental abstaining of the vote, whilst others criticised her.
Big thank you @Jochurchill4 for today. Forcing a destructive #NoDeal would be outrageously undemocratic, would dama… https://t.co/XZcSMK5GRQ
— Bury St Edmunds Open Britain (@Bury St Edmunds Open Britain)
It turns out that the government’s one vote defeat on the Northern Ireland amendment was due to the fact that a Tor… https://t.co/TQl1C1hHuK