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Hague hits out at Blair's 'rise up' call in Brexit debate

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's call to "rise up" to fight Brexit was "a great mistake", William Hague has said during his speech in the House of Lords Brexit bill debate.

The former foreign secretary - who said that although he voted against leaving the EU he now planned to back the government's bill - used his speech to criticise Mr Blair's comments.

Noting that Mr Blair had defeated him in the 2001 general election, Mr Hague said: "If nine months after that [election] I had asked people to rise up against the result, Mr Blair would not have been very amused ... he would have told me to listen to the voters."

Mr Blair called for Remain voters to "rise up" during a speech made to the pro-European campaign group Open Britain last week.


Bishop of Southwark warns against ignoring Remain vote

The Bishop of Southwark has warned that ignoring Remain voters risks causing resentment and instituting a "regional divide", as the House of Lords debate on the Brexit Bill.

The Rt Rev Christopher Chessun it was the view of many bishops that the Bill should not be amended.

Prime Minister looks on as Lords debate Brexit bill

Theresa May sits behind the speaker (top right) as the House of Lords debate begins Credit: PA

Theresa May was watching from the sidelines as the House of Lords kicked off its debate on the Brexit bill, a silent reminder to the upper house that she expects them to avoid holding up the legislation.

It is unusual for the prime minister to sit in the House of Lords, but she is permitted to do so as a member of the Privy Council.

Asked earlier in the day about the debate, Mrs May told journalists: "When the Bill to allow the government to trigger Article 50 to start the Brexit process went through the House of Commons it went through with good majorities.

"It was not amended. I hope that the House of Lords will pay attention to that."

Around 190 peers are expected to speak on the European Union (Notification Of Withdrawal) Bill over two days of debate.

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