Monday, July 9, 2012

Conor Burns Ready to Resign as PPS Over Lords Reform
Burns’ Letter to Chief Whip In Full

Tory rebel Conor Burns is ready to resign as Owen Paterson’s PPS after informing his chief whip that he will vote against the government on Lords reform. Burns has left the final decision up to Dave, it appears he could be out of a job tomorrow evening: “It would seem that my position is incompatible with membership of the Government. I deeply regret the government have put us in a position where a long-held and mainstream view means I cannot continue to serve as a PPS“. Guido is sure it won’t be the least we hear from Conor.

Sky’s Sophie Ridge confirms:

Guido has just asked Conor if he had; proffered his resignation if asked or simply thrown himself at the mercy of the Prime Minister? To which he replied: “Sort of both!” Burns is now leading the heckling of Nick Clegg and co. in the Commons. They said it would be bloody…

UPDATE: Here is Burns’ letter in full:

Patrick,

Further to our conversation in your office I wanted to formally write to put my position as PPS to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at yours and the Prime Minister’s disposal. I have long held views on reform of the House of Lords and cannot support the Bill tomorrow or the programme motion. It would appear that my position is incompatible with membership of the Government. I am a keen supporter of the Government and deeply regret that the Government have put us in the position where a long held and mainstream view within the Conservative Party means that I cannot continue to serve as Owen’s PPS. If by voting against the Bill tomorrow means I have to resign I will of course continue to support the Government and the Prime Minister from the backbenches.

Conor

Via @SophyRidge

Where Are the Whips?

Conor Burns might be fearing for his job when he votes against the government over Lords reform tomorrow, but Guido is starting to suspect that Tory whips’ hearts aren’t really in it. For 70 Conservative backbenchers to voice such open dissent – including loyalists that still actually harbour career ambitions – there is clearly little anxiety over the consequences of rebelling. And as for those LibDem boundary review threats… 

Peter Lilley has gone on the record saying that no whip has got in touch with him, while Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC: “I speak to the whips regularly but I haven’t come under any pressure“. Tories have been briefing the Lobby that their party capos have been nowhere to be seen:

Dave ordered a three-line whip on Lords reform, but neither his backbenchers nor his whips seem to care. The power now lies with Ed…

Exclusive: That Letter Signed by MPs Opposing Lords Reform
Named Signatories Includes Not Usual Suspects

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Read: Clegg’s Lords Reform Bill

What is the point of reforming the House of Lords and making it elected if the Bishops will remain?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Up Yours King

Love this truculence from Baroness Trumpington…

Monday, November 14, 2011

Up Yours M’Lord

Baroness Trumpington, the 89-year-old Tory peer didn’t take too kindly to having her age mentioned by Lord King of Bridgewater:

A great spot by Total Politics

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Good Reason For Lords Reform

Not normally one for Hansard trawling, Guido had to chuckle at Conor Burns’ argument for reforming the House of Lords. Closely allied to Maggie, he is almost her unofficial PPS, Conor saw a good opportunity to shaft an old foe:

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that his noble Friend Lord Heseltine has not even made his maiden speech in the House of Lords. “Part-time” would not be a good adjective to describe him. Can the hon. Gentleman think of one?

Conor Burns (Bournemouth West, Conservative)
I can think of many, and it is not often that I am accused of being on the same side as Lord Heseltine. I remember telling Lady Thatcher a couple of years ago that he had not made his maiden speech, having been in the Lords for nine years at the time. Her reply was, “Well, look on the bright side, at least we haven’t had to listen to it.” Lord Heseltine is a very good example of my point—he says that he took his membership of the other place because he wanted the honour, but he did not want to participate. He has participated in fewer than 20 Divisions in the 10 years that he has been a Member of the other place. That was why I found it absolutely disgraceful that he came in the other night to vote against the referendum lock in the European Union Bill, which is going through the other place. Such examples show that the other place needs some reform.

A compelling case…

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turkeys Make Pre-Christmas Clucking Sound

Is anyone actually surprised by the fact that 81% of peers are opposed to reforming the House of Lords? Ironically that’s the figure that will end up being elected if the Coalition Agreement is implemented.  The Times thundered this morning that Clegg’s plans were facing a revolt. What did they think was going to happen?

With only four hundred peers actually doing any work, or even turning up, regardless of whether you think they should be elected or not, it’s time for a cull. In other news, public sector workers don’t like spending cuts…

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easy Solution to Ermine Concern

The 792 peers have decreed that the upper chamber is too full. They have asked the PM not to ennoble anyone else as they have run out of  coat hooks and headed paper. Just a fraction of this 792 are active working peers who devote themselves to their constitutional role as scrutineers. There is no denying there is plenty of deadwood and corrupt expenses fiddlers who got away with crimes far worse that Lord Taylor. It’s a job for life though.

Here’s a simple idea, if there are too many Lords theen there should be a system in place that can see the bad ones kicked out, and the good ones rewarded, by keeping their jobs. New people could put themselves forward and the public could support them. Think there’s a name for this process… Ah yes, an elected chamber.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From Dusk Till Dawn

Many Peers barely make it through an afternoon session in the Lords, but somehow they have managed to pull an all-nighter to debate a mere three of a possible two hundred amendments put forward to the Bill that must be passed by Friday if the AV referendum can take place on the 5th May.

However it is the coalition’s rebalancing of seats, to make them of equal size, that Labour is finding hard to swallow. Days like this that highlight just how flawed our constitution is – we have unelected and unaccountable peers breaking convention in order to block a move that will make our representative democracy fairer and more balanced. You couldn’t make it up…

UPDATE: The FT’s Jim Pickard highlights why Labour’s claim that they are not filibustering out of party interest looks ridiculous:

Lord Harris of Haringey, Lab, 01.45:

“So what were the reasons for choosing 600 (MPs) as opposed to 650, 630, 575 or 585? I was tempted to say that there was some sort of arcane numerology about this. Noble Lords will be aware that 650 is the product of three prime numbers: two, five squared and 13; 630 is of course the product of four prime numbers: two, three squared, five and seven. I defy anyone to find a similar formulation or number that involves five prime numbers. Maybe my noble friend Lord Winston, or some such person could come up with something.”


Seen Elsewhere

Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP
Andrew Pierce v Owen Jones | MediaGuido
Last Person the Leave the EU Please Turn Out the Lights | Speccie
Porn Without Borders | The Local
Why Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves | Nick Wood
North Korean Heavies Target Ealing Hairdresser | Standard
Tax Cuts Make Us All Richer | Alex Brummer
Sex, Booze and Power Play | Sophy Ridge
Deferential Democracy is Dead | Douglas Carswell
Clegg’s Taxpayer Funded Strategist | Sun
Farage is Still a Politician | Times


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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