Boris Johnson has lost another vote to call a General Election but will try again to get Parliament to agree to a nationwide vote before Christmas.

In another bizarre episode of Westminster, MPs have refused to back a bid by the Prime Minister to hold an election on December 12 on Monday evening but they could, just 24 hours later, back an election to be held on the very same day.

The Prime Minister was defeated for the third time in the House of Commons in a bid to call an election.

The vote on a motion was defeated because it did not achieve the two thirds of MPs it needs to call an election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

MPs voted 279 in favour of an election and 70 against.

Labour MPs abstained leaving Mr Johnson well short of the 43 votes he needed.

However, the Prime Minister said he will now bring forward a short bill, that only needs a simple majority, which can be passed if the SNP and Liberal Democrats support it.

It will be his fourth attempt at getting parliament to agree to an election.

The SNP said they want a guarantee that there will be no attempt to continue with he Withdrawal Agreement Bill in between agreeing to an election and Parliament being dissolved next week.

After the vote Mr Johnson said Jeremy Corbyn had “run away” form the electorate and “turned down the offer to get Brexit done”.

The Prime Minister said he would bring forward the Bill for an election on December 12.

He said: “ This House cannot any longer keep the country hostage. I don’t believe the paralysis and stagnation should be allowed to continue.”

The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the SNP needed a “cast iron guarantee” that there would be no attempt to bring the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to Parliament in the meantime.

MR Blackford said that the SNP would be fighting an election on independence.

He said:” "We will fight that election on the right of the Scottish people to determine their own future.”

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would scrutinize the Bill for an election but he said that no deal had to be “off the table” and there was “no danger of the Prime Minister not sticking to his word.”

The SNP and LibDems had previously agreed a plan to have a General Election on December 9 three days before Boris Johnson’s preferred date.