Yvette Cooper said that she decided to press an amendment that ruled out no deal because Theresa May ???has refused to consult or build consensus??? and ???refused to allow votes on other Brexit options???.
It fell upon the Labour backbencher to push the ???no to no deal??? amendment to a vote after its initial sponsor, Conservative MP Caroline Spelman, had said she wanted to let it drop in favour of the government???s weaker proposal that only ruled out exiting without a deal on 29 March.
As a result, Cooper said, ???the House of Commons has voted decisively tonight against the chaos of no deal???, a defeat that she said will force the prime minister to resolve the Brexit crisis, or leave backbenchers to try to take control of the process.
Cooper has been at the heart of two months of cross-party backbench efforts to come up with an alternative Brexit strategy, and now wants parliament to hold a series of ???indicative votes on different options, including a customs union, so we can get on with this???.
The former shadow home secretary has worked closely with Labour colleague Hilary Benn, plus Nick Boles and Oliver Letwin in pushing for an extension to article 50 that would allow time to negotiate an alternative Brexit.
But not everybody was happy with Cooper on Wednesday night. A source close to Conservative cabinet remainers said that they wanted Cooper to drop Spelman???s motion, saying it would have been better to coalesce around May???s amendment. It was ???self-centred, she played a very dangerous game there???, they said.
However, by pressing Spelman???s stronger anti no deal motion to a vote, the effect of Cooper???s action was to magnify splits in the Conservatives over Brexit, as 17 Tories ultimately voted for the motion she put while Labour splits were minimal.